KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 2: Winter 2015
Micro-Fiction: 377 words

Time Travel

by Gleah Powers

My body felt haunted. I had pain in my neck. My arm hurt, like a nerve was pinched. My left knee was twisted and I had an ache in my side. My jaw felt tight. I pointed out my sunken chest, my left shoulder higher than my right. Sometimes it was hard to hold myself up, and sitting was uncomfortable. My lower back hurt when I walked for a long time.

“Maybe it’s because I’m tall,” I said. “I have to slump. Everything is too low; chairs, tables, sinks, counters, even car seats. The world is designed for people five foot four. Is it really true that you don’t cause the pain?”

His hands worked like a potter. He said his mother had made hats in the garment district. There was a dried out snakeskin on the wall. Mexican music played from a radio next door. His thick fingers dug deep down into my flesh, releasing the glue that held me together. He asked me to make small subtle movements. I lifted my knee. Moved my foot up and down. Rocked my pelvis. Slid my elbow out to the side and in again. “Breathe into it,” he said. And I did. “Invite my fingers in, picture this melting, spreading out, dissolving.”

I rode the pain through dense distorted fascia and fell into dark holes. I shook from my core as my right ankle remembered iron shackles twisting and rubbing against raw black skin.

My feet screamed away the memory of eight-hour days in high-heeled shoes; aching arches and evenings spent disco dancing in six-inch green and gold snakeskin platforms.

When he started humming “Go Tell Aunt Rhody”—he said he didn’t know why—I wept for the dead gray goose and my lost childhood. His elbow pressed into my sacrum and I remembered the year my spine grew four crooked inches and there was another divorce. I found my stepfather hiding in my neck.

The taste of Novocain seeped from my jaws. My mother melted out of my face.

Afterwards, I went home and ate—mostly meat. I went to bed and dreamt of the time, before the ghosts, when I decided to grow this body tall from the inside out.

Gleah Powers’
Issue 2, Winter 2015

work has appeared in print and online in riverSedge, The Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal 2014, Red Savina Review, Southwestern American Literature, Lumina, Prime Number Magazine Editors’ Selection Volume 2, and many other literary journals. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee recognized in “Notable Stories” in the Million Writers Award 2013; a shortlisted finalist in the Summer Literary Seminars Unified Literary Contest in 2009, 2011, and 2013; and was awarded writing residencies from Vermont Studio Center, Rancho Linda Vista arts community, and Starry Night Retreat/Artist Residency, as well as a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial fund.

Ms. Powers holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles where she is adjunct faculty. She completed her formal art training at the California Institute of the Arts and has worked professionally as a painter, actor, and dancer in New York, Los Angeles, and Mexico City.

Site contains text, proprietary computer code,
and graphic images that are protected by:

⚡   Many thanks for taking time to report broken links to: KYSOWebmaster [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡