I skulk around the gemmy corners of the emerald mausoleum and sift the twinkling dirt through the veil of my unnatural hand, as if memories of sentience were enough for me to hold the insubstantial grandeur of our lofty and unseemly dreaming. Never was I bold enough to challenge his dominion. All the brilliant green has gone with his demise, leaving smears of gaseous sheen on stony faces and stone-faced pediments, on avenues and temperaments, on makeshift palaces, and shifty, feckless eyes. When he plummeted to earth the second time, his luck cracked into a trillion feeble facets. The glare of his bedeviled, shattered might flared through our conundrum of a world leaving a muddy mangled corpse and the aching dust of our belief in reanimating magic. We buried him with pomp and spectacle, befitting all his vainglory and our unavailing need for ritual enchantment. Then the light became translucent and then bleary, like a cheap and transient midway or an after-hours arcade as if the bill for our electricity was never fully paid. And so I haunt, with glazy green confusion, the minds of Oz’s children. I was a palace maid before the palace sputtered out. My dust mop glitters and my apron strings trail sparks. Even then I knew the bargain for this temporary emerald was struck between his vision and the unremitting dark.
Kate Falvey’s work has been published in an eclectic array of journals and anthologies, including the Mysteries issue of Deep Overstock; in a full-length collection, The Language of Little Girls (David Robert Books); and in two chapbooks. She edits the 2 Bridges Review, published through City Tech/CUNY, where she teaches, and is an associate editor for the Bellevue Literary Review.