“The Puddle Shrine” by Cheryl Spinner

from Hitchcock, for Kelly
She’s Gracie, queen of ice,
With cold eyes that will cut right through you,
Turn you into stone, rob you of your confidence.
Making you self conscious of your pot belly, shiny head,
and funny looking suits.

Yes, the potbellied man,
In the penguin suits,
He wants to melt her down,
Place a candle beneath that body made of ice,
Watch her turn into a puddle.

He’d make a shrine around the puddle and call it “Grace,”
And the people would come.
They’d try to drink the water.
But he wouldn’t let them.

He never wanted to consume her.
Just wanted her to melt, before his eyes.
To see the hair and legs, the lips and toes, the mouth and chin,
Become one giant pool right there on the floor.

They’d put a fence around her without asking.
He’d sit and grumble about it, but he’d never leave her.
He would wait by her puddle, wait there forever, while he’d smoke his smokey cigar.
He knows she hates the smell, but he wouldn’t care because she’d be a puddle.

Sometimes, on bad days, he’d sneak a sip. He’d drink her.
He knows he said he wouldn’t, but he couldn’t help himself,
He hopes she understands.
It’s not a big deal. There’d be a lot more of her left.
A pool of glittering water, that’s what she’d be.

And then she’d start to evaporate.
He’d watch the puddle slowly shrink.
The people would mourn the loss of their star.
He would too, but maybe not as much.

Cheryl Spinner currently lives in Durham, N.C., where she is a doctoral student in the English Department at Duke University. She received her Master's Degree in English at Georgetown University in the spring of 2010. A native of Queens, N.Y., her writing intertwines yiddishe kopf with a certain kind of New Yawk flair. You can follow her research blog at electricladieszap.wordpress.com.