You asked about Marie and I didn’t know what to tell you. I’d last seen her wedged atop my bookshelves, her sly smile up there blank and all knowing, and it hadn’t dawned on me until that moment that I hadn’t seen her for some time. Marie, the long-necked Madonna of disco. I would have guessed her sultry vintage stare was painted on just as Abba hit their stride, but she was as aloof and flawless as Nefertiti, another incarnation. Nah, you said when you gifted her to me- she’s a real redhead, like me. I had to agree and ended up spray painting her russet when she got dusty. I heaped her in swathes of little disco balls that bloomed pink and baby blue when the last light fell through the blinds. Her neck grew as long as our friendship. Once you strapped Marie to the front of your boyfriend’s Bronco, and she rode unblinking through Wyoming and Michigan to land back home. When you left again you placed her at the topmost shelf in my library and she’d never gone anywhere since. How long had it been since Marie’s discreet disappearance and now? I had no idea where she’d gone or who had taken her. Sometimes it’s like that, a small mystery, like how the day I met you, you were long and thin and orange like the cat I loved who had fallen fatally from the balcony that very morning. I named you after him, a moniker you wore from then on forward. We never agreed on anything but “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen, thrift store oddities, and New Orleans. It didn’t matter, nothing did, in that kind of friendship, easy as Sunday morning.
Lorette C. Luzajic
This was first published by Flash Fiction North, and is from the author's latest ekphrastic collection, Winter in June. Read a review of the book at Miramichi Reader (review by Bill Arnott) here.
Lorette C. Luzajic studied for a degree in journalism from Ryerson University, but went on to more creative pursuits. Her ekphrastic flash fiction and prose poetry have been widely published, including recent (or forthcoming appearances) in Trampset, The Citron Review, Ghost Parachute, Unbroken Journal, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Cleaver Magazine, and Flash Boulevard. She has been nominated several times each for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Lorette is also an internationally collected visual artist, with art in at least thirty countries. She teaches mixed media art making to clients at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. She recently started doing ekphrastic writing workshops online, and is teaching a five-day ekphrastic workshop with Meg Pokrass this summer. In 2015, she merged her passions and founded The Ekphrastic Review.
The Ekphrastic Review
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