20 July 2008

Black and White Haibun

He channel surfs though the photographs in his mother's shoebox that he keeps on the top shelf of the closet, the black ink of her static memories projected on a yellowing white glossy cardstock screen. Aunts, sisters, cousins, classmates in one roomed elementary schools and small county high schools with malt shops down the street and barbershops where men with hats and ties worn in the middle of the day would go and discuss politics and morality. The names of the suspended strangers don't matter. He doesn't need to know them; he only needs to nurse on the comfort that they are always in the same poses, always in the same box, always accessible on that top shelf. He can be certain that black will always be black and white refuses to be anything but white.

In his world, how can he know for sure that the red he sees on the ambulance light is the same color that someone else saw on the cola sign? Colors are far too subjective. Black and white are monochromatic absolutes. For this reason he sits for hours watching the same black and white comedies on television, holding close the sketched images as the winter roars outside.

snow dancing festively
silhouettes of darkened trees
against a charcoal sky

Around the Square

A vampire walks every night past the inns in Savannah's Lafayette Square, rumor says, down the sidewalks looking for its prey.

"Pray each night before you go to bed," the nanny tells the pajama wrapped boy," that you are forgiven of any darkness." She turns the nightlight on and looks out the window over the square. "You must be filled with light."

"Light weights can't be balanced any more than heavy ones." The student is sipping his tea when he should be doing his homework. He looks out the coffee shop on the square and feels metaphorical. His eyes play with the cracks in the pavement. College restrictions fit tighter than black plastic bracelets. "We all do our best to walk the line here."

Hear the sounds of the man with the briefcase as his Italian leather footfalls click on the sidewalk. He works at the courthouse. He thinks over the face of the little girl victim he saw today, and thinks of the eyes of the woman he is defending. On days like today he wonders if he is a vampire.

spanish moss shadows
dance across the gray pavement
worshipping the moon

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