Mother stands frozen in my bedroom doorway… a block of stone: arms splayed, legs spread, a barrier to my exit. I cannot move her, never could; she’s as heavy as her gaze when she first looked in on me. So, I am left to chip away at her, like I did before she was transformed, but literally now. I yell, “Stop imprisoning me!” She doesn’t answer; she has been silenced. Her face looks shocked, accusatory, wide-eyed. My tresses flare in a fighting response—as though slithering about my head. Then, for the first time, I hear the sound of hisses.
When in Rome
We are sitting in a restaurant in Rome, being fed a ruse of a tale—that it is here, in this low, cavernous space, Caesar Augustus was killed: stabbed in the back by his closest of comrades—Marcus Brutus. Regardless of this veiled sham of a story, I feel a pinch between my shoulder blades, a sense of loss as I think of losing my dearest ally. A Midwesterner from the US, I instinctually order meat and potatoes. The waiter rolls his eyes. And I watch him, closely, as I unwittingly begin to roll my steak knife in my hand.