God’s Dustpan

The clinking of porcelain as it shatters on the cobbled stone street made of bricks varying in shapes, colors, and sizes, is heard from the next room over. Another remnant left behind like so many spoken words and deeds committed. Another sentinel amongst the refuse. The heart that used to be so big, so much larger than life, a continent to comfort friends and family cozily on lazy weekends and reclusive getaways, is now a shriveled, tired, wheezing husk discarded and forgotten.


It swells somewhat in the face of adversity, relishing challenges as they come and go. Most have gone. It now sits in the corner of the sad bar on a Wednesday night at 1 in the morning, hoping for another sorry excuse to waltz over and initiate one more dance before last call. A sorry state of the once proud and unabashed ego. His gut hangs over the belt that used to hold every girl’s envy. It now holds disgust and laughter.


– Wisk – Wisk – Wisk – The water runs over the uneven surface, over the browns and yellows and greens and reds, unending in its quest to smooth over it all. The tattered bristles occasionally falling out as it sweeps up the water and broken pieces. The wooden shaft is dented an bent at an awkward shape and it’s loved all the more because of it. The solid, deeply ingrained bright robin’s egg blue is now faded and grimy and dark from all the sweat it soaked up over the years.


Tempus fugit. One day, when you’re older you’ll understand. Whatever. Grab your kite and run so fast you’re making the wind. 1 minute flat to the corner and back and did you see how fast I was running? There was flames like Back to the Future, I saw them! Only you can’t remember because now you groan as you sit up off your side of the bed, shut off the alarm and blink away the nightmares plaguing you; the person you really want to call has gone for whatever reason.


You handle the cutlery more carefully. You count the hours, minutes, seconds you have left until the next Friday. You relish the first bite of the chocolate ice cream that’s been in the freezer so long crystals have formed on it. The feeling you get from watching a sunset after one hit on your CBD vape pen. Even the words pulled from your mind as you type on the computer.


The doormat needs to be replaced, you notice. It’s dingy and darkened from all the wipes of your shoes before you walk in. Smelling slightly of mildew and fragrances of days gone by. The wistfulness a fleeting memory you grasp tighter to embrace, if only for just a second. The mom-not-mom’s birthday call panging angrily as it falls down the chasm within you. A sigh amidst a crowded department store on December 18th. The confusing lonely solace in driving down a single lane country road at midnight.


Your desire burns in you, found underneath the rubble. The fireplace in the teetering house of cards made of your life experience. Threatening to consume the tinderbox at the slightest spark or pop of the fire. It burns hotter than your ears when you’re embarrassed; the tingle of your body as the first kiss of your love is felt on your lips. It drives me to sweep it all up, using the dustpan every one of us keeps lying handily next to the trash. The one that always leaves a thin line of dust. You know the one.


©Ramon Sturdivant


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