River of Stones written in Puerto Vallarta in Feb. 2011/ top ten

River of Stones

1. Scarlet-tinged tourists beached, waiting for something to happen to change something that never will.”

2. The waves are slapping in and out like memories that spray over the rocks and shells of thought.

3. The face of a white Jesus glows off the page of a brown woman praying silently with lips moving in a blue polka-dot bikini. She sneers at the white heathens that surround her watching their blotched red bodies in the beating sun.

4. Every grain of sand brings up an image of all the unread pages in books never lifted from the shelves of history.

5. She holds her compact mirror up with shimmering white nails to check out her reflection. Her boyfriend checks out the other women on the beach. She looks around her mirror at him as he quickly looks back at her and smiles.

6. Three teenage boys sit and wait to get tattoos on the beach. They study their biceps, the backs of their legs to envision where the tattoo will be most noticed as they anxiously watch the first volunteer cringing as ink embeds itself in his arm through a hammering needle.

7.A white bird with yellow duck feet waddles in the river. Two dogs slide like snakes through the sand to get closer to her. When they get within inches of the bird they roar and pounce on her, but she flaps her pelican-like wings and takes off just as their paws reach where she was, with what I’m sure is a victorious smirk.

8. What you believe to be true can sinker faster than an anchor with nothing to attach to.

9. It is alone that we tread through these waters. We think it is synchronistic swimming, but we are involved in an elaborate routine beside someone who is doing an entirely different sequence.

10. A woman in white stands at her stall smiling at tourists, holding out vibrant rugs for them to see. The sun arches over her canopy all day as she hangs color-drenched fabrics delicately on hangers. As the hours slowly pass, she notices the sun is starting to go down as the tourists continue to pass her with barely a glance. She has barely made 50 pesos today. She starts to carefully fold and pack up each of the sparkling dresses and sarapes in boxes. She will repeat this again tomorrow morning as the sun is just sliding over the horizon.

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About megtuite

Meg Tuite's writing has appeared in numerous literary journals including Berkeley Fiction Review, 34th Parallel, Epiphany, One, the Journal, Monkeybicycle and Boston Literary Magazine. She has been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize. She is the author of two short story collections, Bound By Blue (2013) Sententia Books and Domestic Apparition (2011) San Francisco Bay Press, and three chapbooks including her latest, Her Skin is a Costume (2013) Red Bird Chapbooks, won the Twin Antler's Collaborative Award through Artistically Declined Press (2014), for her collaborative poetry collection, Bare Bulbs Swinging with Heather Fowler and Michelle Reale. She has a monthly column, Exquisite Duet, published up at JMWW. Her blog: megtuite.com
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