Act Time

Between cities. Cedar talks to herself.

“The thing is –” plume of short breath into icy winter air. The thump of her footsteps knocks snow off the branches. ” — sooner or later I’ll have to move on. It’s not sustainable, you know? I mean.” The words don’t have any meaning, but they keep her lips from freezing together. Every downy hair on her lip holds a bead of ice.

“Play me some rag
Just change that classical nag
To some sweet beautiful drag.”

She sings, beats her hands together against her thighs, shuffles her feet through the snow. There is a book in her pocket, a small cloth-bound chapbook she found in a paper seller’s store that is half filled with sketches and the outlines of stories and a stranger’s name on the inside corner. “Tonight,” she tells herself. “Later, later.”

Behind her winter is slipping from the trees. Where she had walked small white flowers are nodding their heads.