As Through a Sieve
You sift and I sweep. I move the broom close to your feet, the bristles poking your toes, cranberry-red nails with unpainted crescent moons near the cuticles, because you haven’t been to the salon since your mother called, since she choked out the words about your father, since you said Daddy over and over until I wrested the phone from your hand.
The sifter glimmers with newness. Three birthdays ago, I wrapped it in newspaper, the worst wrapping job ever, you’d said, the corners of your mouth turned up, teeth showing. You tore the paper, cheeks flushed with wine. Afterward, the sifter lingered unsifting through three different Ansel Adams calendars on the wall. I will never tire of Half Dome strafed in that light and those shadows.
You sift and I wait. You used to turn a whisk in careful circles, and I would excavate clumps of cocoa powder with my fork. I wondered if you found them in your cake, too. Now you pull the trigger on the sifter and the kitchen is a windless field, flour falling quiet as snow. I worry at your feet with the broom, trying to bear something out. Trying to shepherd something back in.
About the Author:
Jad Josey resides on the central coast of California with his family and one very large cat. His work has appeared in Glimmer Train, Passages North, Reed Magazine, Little Fiction, and elsewhere. He is currently at work on a collection of short stories. Read more at www.jadjosey.com or reach out on Twitter @jadjosey.
About Weekly Flash Prose and Prose Poetry:
CutBank Online features one work of flash prose or prose poetry every Monday. Submissions are free and open year-round. Send us your best work of 750 words or less at https://cutbank.submittable.com/submit.