This Mineral World

William Doreski


Debts heap like glacial debris. Peacocks squall in the yard, fanning while igniting the dusk. I want to reorder the debris and apply this jigsaw to lives I didn’t have time to live. The metaphor is inexact because the mess of paper on my desk offers edges sharper than broken slate and the numbers add up to bedrock extrusions too tough for dynamite to dislodge. Exasperated, I shut my laptop against the rebuke of my failed budget and step outside. The chill embalms me, to the relief of my suffering organs. Tomorrow another storm arrives, dangling streamers and scattering confetti only the most innocent people mistake for snow. But I have to finish up this day by challenging my debtors to a duel. Weapons of choice? Scissors blunt enough for children to wield, and maybe a pack of matches. As the aggrieved party I get to choose. But as dark drapes the pine-tops I realize I’ve fooled myself once more. These aren’t debits or credits but runes from a life I lived centuries ago, runes inked on parchment to curse or bless me.


William Doreski’s work has appeared in various e and print journals and in several collections, most recently A Black River, A Dark Fall (2019).

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