Fat Tuesday in Samsara

Women gathered round the float
like the waters of the night—
nurses, pirates,
schoolgirls in plaid—and they lifted
shirts to necks and their breasts bobbed
up and down.

Beads of prayer fell upon
them and hit their heads and throats
and hearts.

The women dropped to their knees
to collect them—holy objects
on sullied ground—
but boots stomped upon their bony
hands and bodies pushed them left and right.
But they persisted and they
grasped—tarantula
fingers on concrete ground—
and they rose to stand,
lightheaded,

and pressed beads to forehead, beads
to mouth.

And up above the cold moon
hung. The float,
in its salvation,
passed—
drifting cheers of yellow-red, drifting flashes
of golden light—and the turning
waters turned the endless
flotsam: death
and delight.

Lana Spendl

Lana Spendl’s chapbook of flash fiction, We Cradled Each Other In the Air, is forthcoming from Blue Lyra Press in February 2017. Her work has appeared in The Cortland Review, Hobart, The Greensboro Review, Quarter After Eight, storySouth, Fiction Southeast, Monkeybicycle, Prick of the Spindle, Gargoyle, and other magazines.