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Going Fourth

Photo by Saad Alfozan on Unsplash

You are naked but for the spangle-flecked blanket, all tiddlywinks, stars and sparkles, enfolding you like a seashell’s whorl,

a superhero’s cape,

an all-purpose excuse for avoiding entanglements that might pierce your flesh or leave even the slightest, faintest trace of purpose or pity or something uncomfortably in between —

a bruise of some kind.

Blanketed, you stride down the avenue like Lady Godiva without her horse, the streaky fabric streaming behind you like a flowing river of golden locks.

Clever how your tender flesh, all hidden and be-layered, denies the witnesses beholding your passage the satisfaction their gnawing hunger demands.

You wish not to be followed or even understood, but to get so lost, the blanket itself grows weary, its grip loosens, or your grip loosens: impossible to know for sure. The locomoting blanket loses steam and grinds to a flat halt on the pavement, or the grass, or the stony shore, wherever and whenever you part ways.

The spangled blanket made by fingers the size of a buttercup’s petals:

More hungry witnesses denied a satisfaction of one sort or another.

Let some stray waif or fairytale-besotted oaf take up the blanket, stained with your exploits and half-veiled intentions. Let them stage a new parade, perhaps flesh-baring this time, the blanket more prop than cover.

You will paddle away toward a cool, clear, baptism, a ritual purification to wash off the last of the spangled blanket’s filthy microbes.

You get away with everything, yet again.

Find more of my eclectic and unpredictable mix of poetry and prose at Amy L. Bernstein.




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Amy L. Bernstein

Amy L. Bernstein

I write stories that let you feel and make you think. Fiction, essays, poems. Whatever the moment — or zeitgeist — requires. More at

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