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© 2023 by Britt A Willis.

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Non-binary characters

 
THE BODY from This Vessel Is A Fragile Thing (any race, late 20s-30s)

 

Words cannot express
consciousness.

I remember my memory,
still it gets a little hazy.

Especially now?
Especially now.
My existence is taking its toll on me.

Everything takes more effort
making decisions takes more effort
going outside takes more effort
seeing people takes more effort
not seeing people takes more effort

I just 

want 

to sleep.


I could teach you how to sleep...

I’m not saying you need me to,
I’m just saying I could,

if you wanted to,

if you ever got tired,
if you needed an escape.
Just if

that ever happened…
I could teach you how to sleep.
 

Who are you? I remember my memory,
still it gets a little hazy.
I’m just trying to sleep.
Everything takes more effort.
I could… I could teach you how to sleep?

Everything… takes more effort…. these days.
Going outside takes more effort….

The Shoes (any race, 20s-40s)

 

The first time I polished my light brown derby oxfords, I nicked my finger on the polish tin. Nothing bad, a drop of blood similar to a pin prick or paper cut. I ignored it and continued gathering polish on the cloth. I’d never used polish before and the smell reminded me of being a kid on

 

saturday night, my father preps

a sermon, a suit, and his shoes.

He opens a small can of polish,

swipes some up with an overused

rag, and begins to carefully care

for his leather shoes,

a gift from someone dear to him.

these are the brown shoes,

to match a lighter suit, because,

I realize now, it is Easter.

My father mumbles the

sermon as he works. 

Jesus says

“take this cup from me”

to his father.

He is scared and begging,

not very god-like,

not even prophet-like,

just human, I guess.

My father methodically

rubs small circles around

the toe,

the side,

the heel,

the other side.

His church doesn’t have the rituals of,

say, Catholicism

but my father makes his own.

Religious or not,

sometimes it feels important to let these things carry forward.

 

So I methodically rubbed small circles around the toe, the side, the heel, the other side. And as I did I thought of the Easter sermon, and the conversation I wanted to have with him, a conversation I think we’ll never have.