The Temptation of St. Anthony
by Zoë Gabriel
I, too, crave solitude, try to level this desert, evade the wannabes and tourists. Still they knock and holler, their claws and wings beating against these fragile walls, a gale of sand. Unplug the phone, the machine picks up. Scalding water for tea drops on my thigh, my backlit reflection in the kitchen window peers in persistently. I don't care, I don't want to know even if the message is from you. I have to keep silent, keep still, keep the balance, and lick my bruised, burned, sly fingers. Single-minded as prayer, I have to coax courage out of this dry soil, the hard-packed earth of my flesh. How else will a garden ever bloom in my withering hand, under the crushing weight of my breastbone?
Zoë Gabriel's poems have appeared in Illumen, Oysters & Chocolate, Word Riot, The Commonline Project, Thieves Jargon, GlassFire Magazine, Grasslimb, Centrifugal Eye, Poetry Midwest, Southern Ocean Review, Salt River Review, Locust Magazine, Unlikely Stories, AntiMuse and Cadenza; she has work forthcoming in Tales of the Unanticipated, Tales of the Talisman, Weird Tales and Oysters & Chocolate. Zoë dyes her hair, but is naturally tall. She loves books, languages, spicy food and colorful socks. She is from Europe and lives in Maryland.
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