Aisyday is a collector of things.
Hats and canes. Handbags. Scars.

I can’t be sure. I am certain.

She saw me as hard tissue. A door
left ajar. What I said. Honest.
Insecure and reaching.
A ringing nerve along her jawline.

Me. Jarring and disobedient. Always.
Her jealous, boasting a size nine shoe.
Because it’s more than eight.
It’s invisible ink.
A missing decoder pen. Pig Latin.

Us. Going like loose seeds. Different
and all the same. Nine years sloughing.
Becoming dust on a fan blade. Too high
to see. I do. I see her.

In Sprouts standing by organic lemons.
Making a same sour face. Her toddler
handling them all.
I’m hiding, eight months pregnant
in essential oils. Inhaling ylang ylang.
Glancing.
On accident. Grab antiseptic,
tea tree and reel. Remembering:

Her inherited narcissistic traits. My instinct
to make a break. Pass a note that is scissors.
Mostly, a plea for empathy or a lingering
question. Never.

Daisy is a collector of succulents.
Headbands. Toms. Melissa and Doug toys.

I can’t be certain.

Selected byJordan Trethewey
Image credit:Wonderlane

Kaci Skiles Laws is a closet cat-lady and creative writer who reads and writes voraciously in the quiet moments between motherhood and managing Crohn's Disease. She grew up on a small farm in a Texas town alongside many furry friends, two sisters, and a brother. She has known tragic loss too well, and her writing, which is often dark and honest, is a reflection of the shadows lurking in her psyche. Her work can be viewed at:https://kaciskileslawswriter.wordpress.com/, and her visual artwork and music can be viewed on YouTube under Kaci and Bryant.