The Rest We Give to Fire by Sean Schemelia

In the blue morning, I found little reason not to roam the gridded cemetery. With a sober mind and closing eyes, I buried my ego once more, not far from my father's father and bride.

He died when I was a boy, but old Rosie still needed to love. Jimmy was a good man, and he grabbed my wayward grandmother by the reins.

Went unapologetic Apollo into her goodnite when the old man was gone. Got her mind off the end, I'll give him that.

On day three from Rosie's foolish scrap with Calypso (one coming not to a blossom but to a wilt), her own clandestine island in the Sun, Jimmy left her under my cousins' barn to be tumorfood. Jim the Good retreated from South Jersey back to his Eastpoint Long Island Shelter, never again never saw him again, any of us.

Calypso was born horny and furious. First flew to New York and punitively raped Jimmy for his sordid display of insubordination. Then she found me trying to flee, en route à Bala Cynwyd. For my traveling sales gig. Knocked on a door in West Nowhere and there she stood, pregnant.

"I'm sorry for the—"

"Shut your fucking mouth and say to me what you came to say."

"Ahem," breaking eye contact with an archaic whore, "hey, how's it going?" Two snaps of my gum to no response. Without looking up from my mostly-prop clipboard for approval, "I'm here today with Commerce Energy." I nervously direct negative attention to my CE pin and awkward Identification Card. "We've been," fear bites me on the neck and I lose my vocal rhythm, then briefly wish I had a fag left to smoke, "assigned to check all of the residences in this area to see if any of you qualify for a discounted rate." I thought of my manager Peony and her heinous neckskin tag; I wanted to cut it off with a switchblade, "on your PECO bill. I just need to see a recent copy of your utilities bill and I can let you know right away whether or not you qualify."

"Are you done?"

I swallow my pride as I swallow my spit. "I'll just wait right here while you get that." Disengage. my disgusting job is done now, for certain, and that fact brings me no small comfort.

Calypso then told me she wasn't interested in paying my commission and slammed her door in my face. I felt dirty as the virgin who lost it to a dog.

I know she found Rose. I'll bet she was visited to no end towards the end. Poor Rosie thought Jesus Christ was visiting her. Maybe he was.

I haven't seen Calypso since the incident in Bala Cynwyd, though I know I will, and until I do, I will know no fear,

but evil.


Sean Schemelia is from Chesilhurst, N.J.