“Cathexis” by Alec Solomita

Garnet was my mother’s birthstone
It’s in the semi-precious category,
not as hard, not as bright as a ruby.
Not as precious, not as fine –
a supple red blush.

She wore a largish one in a smallish brooch.
It was rectangular and clawed into place
by the insect legs of some metal –
semi-precious perhaps, but perhaps not,
perhaps gold, a noble metal that endures.

She only wore the brooch when she went out.
I observed her toilette with pious intensity:
two swipes of deep red lipstick on her lower lip
then pressing both lips together with a casual élan.

She’d peer in her compact mirror
then clap it shut, releasing ecstatic clouds of powder,
before holding the compact up to my face
saying, “See the monkey!”

I laughed but was always a little surprised
that I didn’t see her face in the glass but her
pale and timid child shadow.


“Cathexis” was first published by The Lothlorien Poetry Journal


Alec Solomita is a writer and artist working in the Boston (USA) area. His fiction has appeared in the Southwest ReviewThe Mississippi ReviewSouthword Journal, and Peacock, among other publications. He was shortlisted by the Bridport Prize and Southword Journal. His poetry has appeared in Poetica, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Litbreak, Driftwood Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Galway Review, The Lake, and elsewhere, including several anthologies. His photographs and drawings can be found in ConviviumFatal FlawYoung Ravens ReviewTell-Tale Inklings, and other publications. He took the cover photo and designed the cover of his poetry chapbook, “Do Not Forsake Me,” which was published in 2017. His full-length poetry book “Hard To Be a Hero,” will be coming out in spring of next year.

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