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Image by Timothy Dykes

Laura Esther Sciortino 

Remote Control


For the bad dumb fights, vain lies, short hugs,
the yeses and noes
paper cuts and stoves left on
hands off the wheel, eyes off the road

isn’t there a damned discarded remote control?

For postpartum muck, slipped condom funk,
hesitation, carelessness
not seeing and anxious, fearsome waves

I’ll fucking go to town to get it working
scrape the white battery dust, new double As,
password, pair it, set it up again

we didn’t know we didn’t mean
those seconds, minutes, days, and years
we didn’t stop

we didn’t start
we didn’t pause
we didn’t fix
we didn’t
remote them

we’re not remote from them
we aren’t apart from them
we are a part of them



We tromped around the yard
plucking and collecting
Dad paid 50 cents a paper sack

We mushed their flimsy petals
for yellow face paint
and blew the white cap spores
(and gnats from our mouths)
into magic whisper wishes

Nobody said not to.
It was encouraged. Also:
four-leaf clovers,
rabbit’s feet,
eye lashes.

We didn’t know
their spring green leaves were an old-world mainstay
that they’d rise again, a delicacy, at farmer’s markets
or that when my son picked them on walks
I’d discourage dispersing his wishes
near the neighbor’s yard.

Maybe dandelions track the rise and fall
of uncultivated sustenance and wishing isn’t so neighborly anymore
but I hope not

Easy Place

As the cold brown shivering coat
walks by walking his barking brown dog
and a squirrel scurries up a tree
my cat drinks rainwater
from her easy place on the patio table

She alights there whenever she wants
for as long as she wants,
her hindquarters broad and stable,
to sip with unhurried tongue,
deliberate and
anticipating nothing,
which is to say, everything,
or so I reason, tethered as I am to human motivations
measured and arbitrary
with rules, boundaries, goals, points

Oh, if I ever get that nervy
that steady in my haunches
that accommodating to my thirst
I might relax
in my own easy place
a moggy right place
in clear water and old sunlight

About  Laura Esther Sciortino  

Laura's work has appeared in great weather for MEDIA's Escape Wheel Anthology, The Comstock Review, Muse/A Journal, and The Flying Dodo. She was one of seven finalists in The Southampton Review’s Short Short Fiction Contest and was selected as a Finalist for Special Consideration in the ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story competition, placed in NYC Midnight's flash fiction story contest, and her debut novel was one of five finalists in the Writer's League of Texas' general fiction manuscript contest. She lives in Portland, Oregon. 

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