Chorus Blog is our opportunity as the team behind Meow Meow Pow Pow to share our interpretation of the themes we ask writers to submit work for. Here is our Chorus Blog on... "Salt."
Incantation For Returning - Marie Marandola
In the desert, you are secret salt. Secrete
a pinch of sweat over your left shoulder
into the face of the devil who lurks
and doubts you there. Bless the place
behind you where weeds tumble in the dust.
What did you love the most
when you were ten? It wasn’t
crying. Write your love. Make your love
into a sigil, seal it, and at midnight,
salt it with your frozen tears.
After the remodel, there will be no corner,
no teacup to stare into. Plant yourself
in the center instead and send your tendrils
widely, wisely. Raise your arms
and spine, a cactus echoing a prayer.
Girls With "M" Names InevitablY Break My Heart - h.
M is the 13th letter of the alphabet
And I wish you could see the mountains around me on this long road
But I know you will never ride on that drive with me
Explore the ghost towns and look for abandoned mines
I wonder if these were the ones they searched for salt
You’d know better than me
And I’d play whatever music you wanted to hear on the AUX
But you’re not here
And I already turned the stereo off
Salt v. Oil: A Sonnet - Levi Rogers
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 1
You were supposed to be Salt of the Earth
Instead, you became an Oil Spill: leaking
into the Bay. Mni Wichoni.2 Waterlife.
You serve Mammon and Might, not the poor or
orphaned. Bow to the Bull and not to Brother
Sun and Sister Moon. You forget where You
come from (And the Devil salts the Earth
with your hypocrisy, for all to see).
But I understand You understand Your
self to be doing the right thing by yours
even as I understand you to be
the enemy As I am to you, too.
Remember your first love? How the grass felt
between your toes. Do it like that again, again.
1 Matthew 5:13
2 “Water is life” in Lakota.
Salt Flats - Jane-Rebecca Cannarella
Margie showed me a photo of herself at my age. The creamsicle walls of her home office bounced the midday spring sunshine into prisms, too many windows in one space. We had been talking about the possibility of me taking a vacation after a year of work as her assistant with no time off. She explained that vacation was earned while she adjusted the neckline of her navy-blue sweater, her favorite color. “Nurse staffing agencies don’t have the luxury of taking a week off, ya know?” I looked out the glass doors and watched her dogs play in the yellow green of the grass in her large, fenced backyard, the spring in Norristown, Pennsylvania was especially dry that year.
While I worried a scab on my knee, and watched the dogs romp, and wondered about a future away from the world of the home office where the phones always rang, Margie had fished a photo out of the sanded wood drawer from her desk. Margie did not keep many memories; the photos were few.
“You need to see this. When I was your age.”
The gloss of the photo created a glare, and she shimmered the image back and forth until the sun stopped its pestering. The mirage of Margie went in and out of focus, the extension of herself traveled through time: the Margie in her home office and the Margie thirty-five years earlier at twenty-three. Somewhere in between the thread of then and now, was a curious life, once wild, and now the comfort of a deep couch cushion.
She was long and tanned, in cut-offs and a button down haphazardly buttoned, the wind pulled at her clothes while she stood in front of a black motorcycle against the backdrop of the Bonneville salt flats in Utah. The white behind her looked like snow. Her shoulder length blonde hair was tangled by the wind and whipped in front of her face, brightly smiling.
“My boyfriend Dave, my God was he handsome, we drove across the country from Buffalo to Utah on his bike. He was crazy about me. You should have seen him.” She motioned the photo to me while she spoke, like the emphasis of Dave’s handsomeness could be shaken out from behind the picture that he took on their road trip. I nodded. Twenty-three-year-old Margie’s smile flashed back and forth with the gesture.
“You don’t know what it’s like to be beautiful one day and then wake up and see a stranger the next.”
I threaded my fingers through my curly hair to tame it into place, bundled at the top of my head in a lopsided knot, while she spoke to me but addressed the person in the photo. “I think I’m hungry,” I told her bent head.
I went into her kitchen and cooked Dinty Moore beef stew in the microwave. When the ding of the finished food was up, I grabbed the stew with paper towels and watched the steam curl upward into my face. I poured a layer of salt straight from the blue cannister across the bubbling beef stew, a food that I hated but could afford in multiples and not overdraft my bank account. Over salting the stew was the only thing that made it bearable to eat, the bitter crystals pulled the moisture of the steam into their tiny bodies. I hated the tinned food, but I always did love salt. I sank a spoon into the quicksand.
Back in the office, Margie still held the photo and looked at herself tenderly. With her eyes on the photo she said, “make sure you don’t waste being young.”
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