​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

Rachel Crawford

The Aberration, Revealed

My fingers are stiff and sore. I pause to crack them and resume my work, which is a trying and physical labor. Bits of clay cling to my hair and grout is caked under my nails on my left hand. My other hand is large and red from hot soapy water and even a little pruned. But something makes beautiful images under the folds like knobby little knees and gentle composing fingers. I grab a chisel and search for my palette of warmer colors and add a resilient layer and erase a lot of things and do a lot of sighing. 

So I pull off, peel off, and scrape with the palette knife that is well formed to my grip. I scrub, white knuckled, with the hot water. In search of a not-you. This sort of conventional you is really a truth-fiction,and the you-you is perhaps underneath,inside,speckled or glittered or fragmented; not a puzzle that fits very nicely but a mosaic which reveals both the parts and the negative spaces. And the pieces do not fit, just like the continents do not perfectly recreate Pangea or Rodinia or whatever was before that. Like many earthquakes have shifted your parts and sunk them, displaced them, and even some new yous have formed or are still forming or will form.

This is a delicate situation.
For all of us. 

You woke one morning and snow was falling, wind was blustering, and you decided not to feel––at all, anything, ever again, and left yourself (and us, but it was worse to see you leave yourself). And when we looked at you or spoke to you or left the Mother's Day card on the table or your dinner in the oven, it didn't slow the process of the eroding or buried or still decaying or absconding or emerging, evolving you. You somehow hid in an exposed state. 

But when we had to leave for the store, I asked if you wanted anything, and when you finally spoke all you said was, "If I ever have a daughter, I will name her Anomaly." 

So we left.    

Rachel Crawford's most recent publication,"The Color of Nothing" is with New Lit Salon Press (June 2014).