Rewards and Fairies
On the street, a white fairy on a pedestal.
When any man drops a coin in her bowl, she offers a gloved hand to kiss but she looks off as he kisses and she freezes in another pose.
If a little girl comes to her, the fairy blinks, she turns and smiles a gentle smile. The fairy looks into the girl's eyes, moves gracefully for her, and, just as the girl, thinking that's all, starts to turn, the fairy blows her a kiss.
I see the stop and surprise each time, how the girl twists and blushes. And women, too, the ones who stop as a lark and forget to breathe. This kiss looks meant, and meant for each of them, one at a time. This kiss looks gentle love and is somehow. As each goes on, she always looks back once at the white fairy watching her.
At nine by the church bell, the fairy climbs down from her pedestal, which turns out to be a plain wooden stool under a drop cloth. She lifts her long gown and stretches her bare legs, which are not painted white like her face and shoulders. When she unzips the back of her gown and looks around, I am not there, I am the back of a chair, and her gown falls away in the street. She pulls on a trim black skirt, picks up her earnings, her dismantled pedestal, and walks through me.