Pseudoscience

When my blackout

blinds have been 

down for two weeks,

my bed is the coldest spot

in the house.

 

My alarm squawks

for the second time,

and I pad out of my bedroom; 

my dressing gown arranged 

in an off-the-shoulder fashion 

like something Polykleitos 

abandoned

in his workshop.

 

The sun casts a square

of light through the back screen

onto the kitchen floor,

and my Chihuahua

clings to it 

like the last

of winter’s tinder.

 

I see my hairdresser after lunch,

and she asks if I want glitter

in my hair,

 

but I can tell she’s really asking

if it’ll be like one of those

Saturday nights, 

when dawn

could still be conjured

with the alchemy

of vodka and sugar.

 

I decline.

 

By afternoon,

the sun has receded behind

the escarpment, and

the last of its light

spills onto the backdoor.

I only notice this

because my Chihuahua is busy

trying to lick it up,

thinking it can fill her quivering

body.

She looks back at me

as though she knows

something I don’t.

 

The 6 p.m. news informs me

a cold spot in space

could be proof

of a parallel universe.

I don’t know what that means;

I just know I want to go

back to bed.

 

The water

in the shower

is too hot.

Shampoo 

forms bubbles

on my scalp

as I try imagining 

a parallel life.

 

I look down.

 

There’s glitter 

in the water.

© 2020 Ariel Bartlett