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Elizabeth Wadsworth Ellis

Rip Torn

The White Beret by Dominique DÈVE

Back in the day a couple purchased monogrammed linen with His n’ Hers embroidered on to it display their fealty, but we did not have those proper nouns.

We had verbs like putting on his socks [clumsy me!], charmed that he would let me, and counting the whorls of his shell even when his doctor told him he needed to lose twenty-five pounds but liking him anyway lessened the cold.

I did not want to downgrade or lose his prodigious gift of warm hands because I believed you could tell a lot about a man by the way he handles a naughty copier or a string of tangled lights or the airline that lost your luggage.

A howl of grief would emit from that deep hollow in me and gouge like a sharpened stick because we shared an occasional sleep and no more 5 minute dating but then I heard him end a call on his cell phone say ‘Love you’ and was afraid I’d hold him to it if  he said it to me.

Beware the non-stick surface because at close range his magnetic field will pull you in peel you back like a cellophane wrapper as tender as tissue paper.




About the writer:
Elizabeth’s work is published in the literary journals Antonym, Barzakh, Bluntly, Bell, Denver Quarterly, Oregon State’s 45th Parallel, Poached Hare, Underwood, and Wingless Dreamer.

Image: The White Beret by Dominique DÈVE (contemporary). Charcoal, ink and acrylic on unspecified medium. No size specified. By 2020. By permission.

OJAL Art Incorporated, publishing since 2017 as OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters (O:JA&L) and its imprint Buttonhook Press, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation supporting writers and artists worldwide.

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