polish ICrouched over old, crinkled newspaper, she poured out each bottle one by one. Red for when she wished everything she touched would burn. Black for when there was too much daylight. Green for when the house plants wept dry leaves. Blue for when the thought of the sea ached in her with a tremor, like song. Gold, lavender, silver, rust. Wave after colored wave hardening into plastic shoals. Afterward, she breathed the chemical air till clouds skimmed across her eyes. She opened her mouth but did not speak. Everything inside her was already crystallizing into a thin but indestructible glaze.


Erin Calabria grew up in rural Western Massachusetts and now lives in New York City. Her writing has appeared in Luna Luna Magazine, River Teeth‘s “Beautiful Things” column, and the Readers Report series on The Rumpus.

Photo credit: Beret Olsen

2 Responses to “Polish”

  1. Don Bagley says:

    I really liked the way you connected the colors to other senses. And your sense of compression is as polished as the title of the piece.

  2. A terrific piece of writing. A joy to read.

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