Smoke Signals

In my dream, the Ranger asks faithful Tonto
about the message. What Tonto tells him
is meaningless. I can tell that he’s lying;
his face is turned away, looking not at the smoke
but at the fog rolling over
the Western mountains.
Tonto asks himself, What good
would it be to tell him that it’s his wife
asking whether he’ll be home for supper,
and could he kill a rabbit because
otherwise the pot will be too empty
for two people?
This is not a message
that should be shared. She
should have known that
the language she shares with
the masked man does not translate well
– the love dissipates and
all that is left is smudged air
and the faint smell of a fireplace.
She knew what she was getting into,
marrying a hero. It’s a one-way
ticket to worship paid in loneliness,
no refunds, no returns. She may have forgotten
this bargain, but that’s okay;
forgetting is part of the picture – forgetting
his unmasked face, forgetting the scent of her
own body under his, forgetting that there’s
another man with a body of his own who
translates her love.


Trisha is dying

She is a blond giraffe with sky
eyes, a small nose, gazelle
legs. She could wear orange
once, and once,
she danced with the ballet. Now
she lies, morphine wasted, bolted
to the chaise on which
we once curled,
the puppy marring
the leather with tiny
claws as we talked about
ways and means. Once
she was my teacher, then
my friend, then my student, but
in this new thing, I can neither
lead nor follow. I can only
hear, helplessly, the call
that Trisha is dying. Soon
she will be gone from me
except for remembering the once
and the once and
the once again.



An infinity of space
hidden between .01 and .09.
A Mars as clement as the
Aghulas current relives
lush nights;
Enceladus nurses its vast lake.
Even the silver moon, just now
living in the night sky, hanging
from periwinkle Venus, has
polar caps a penguin might envy.
There is so much grace between Dewey’s
numbers, each a placeholder for the
narrow and yet limitless
spaces that can dream of living.


I. Roy-Faderman is Nebraskan born and bred, with Bengali parents. Her poetry and fiction have appeared or will be appearing shortly in Pif Magazine, Writer’s Digest Magazine, Long Shot, Right Hand Pointing, and Clade Song.

Lone Ranger and Tonto photo by ABC Television ( via Wikimedia Commons.