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Aphrodite and the Old Witch

Aphrodite sits in her lace and brocade chair

she bought at a garage sale in Miami. Regards herself

in her gilt-framed dressing table mirror, fixes lipstick

rubs lips over each other. Tries on a new hat, smiles

at her reflection. The creases around her eyes wrinkle

back in admiration. She dabs them with a little

anti-aging eye cream. That’s better. Smiling still, she plans

her day. She’ll feed the cats something special and tasty,

buy presents for the grandchildren at the dime store, phone

an old friend to wish him happy birthday, donate a few

dollars to a favorite charity. Buy some daffodils from the

flower seller outside Starbucks.  It’s going to be a lovely day.


The Old Witch looks out from her cracked glass window

its brass frame stained with rust and bird droppings. She pulls

a face at what she sees outside – noisy kids, vendors yelling

at each other, scrawny cats eating garbage and fornicating

under bushes. Her teeth are discolored, many of them missing,

under her breath she mutters an ancient Gypsy curse her grandmother

was fond of using – “will some freak storm or landslide come and

bury you all in hailstones and mud”.  She cackles at her parrot

who curses back at her. It’s going to be another boring day.


Aphrodite and The Old Witch stare at each other, bring their eyes.

noses and lips up real close. Merge into each other. The mirror shatters.

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© Johnmichael Simon



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