pages A Cloud

by Christian Aguiar

Published in Issue No. 163 ~ December, 2010

Nuvem, sonho impap├ível de Desejo…

Antero de Quental, “Ideal”

When the steam begins to ease its way into the bedroom like a warm spring cloud I know that the day has begun its slow and undulating progress. It’s been like this for almost sixty years: my wife rises before me and gently caresses the fickle shower dial into releasing itself and I lie in bed, awakened by the sound of a splitting watermelon which accompanies the first torrents of water.

Then I hear the animal creak of the front steps as she slips her way down, her purple velvet slippers, the same ones for as long as I can remember, rubbing against the warped maplewood. Flat boards, stairs I installed myself.

When I finally stir from bed and scrape my sandpaper heels across the shaggy green carpeting and into the bathroom, she is already in the kitchen banging the heavy steel canister of coffee beans open, cursing quietly at the rust-clenched lid in a voice quiet, so only I might hear.

I plant my feet on the wet-clam ribbing of the shower floor and point my nose towards the nozzle, enjoying the peroxide sting of the water as it collects in my sinuses and chokes me gently. I cough; I spit.

Then I think about the other canister, hand-sanded and varnished maplewood with a thick inlay of regal purple velvet and polished aluminum hinges, the one which she asked me to make two years ago, the one she slid into three weeks ago in the same graceful manner with which she descended the stairs every morning.

I cough; I spit.

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Christian Aguiar was born in Worcester, MA and currently lives in Washington, D.C. His work has been featured in Alimentum, Every Day Poets, Crack the Spine and other publications.