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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 1: January 2020
Haibun: 181 words
By Alexis Rotella

White Wash


An uncomfortable silence
stretches on

It’s the last time Lucy and I get together. Her perfume is poured on and the bees on our walk mistake her for a flower. She seldom mentions her WASP husband, a bank VP. He dislikes most people, especially her working class Italian family who talk with their hands.

We sit on a bench, admire a pair of swans in a love knot. “I had a dream about you,” she tells me, “last night. I don’t know how to begin, but we were really close.” She points to the swans. “Like them.”

I wave away her words along with a yellowjacket. Over lunch, we talk about the White Sale at Macy’s, the thread count of Egyptian cotton sheets. Her young son and how he’s doing in first grade. The shade of blue she chose for her family room.

inside the dream catcher a spider spins

Lucy never calls again. But I spot her one morning at the supermarket dressed in a white linen suit. She sees me, too, but pretends I’m not there.

Alexis Rotella
Issue 1, January 2020

was honored to be included in the American Haiku Archives as honorary curator in 2019. She is the curator/editor of Unsealing Our Secrets, a MeToo anthology of short poems about sexual abuse which was awarded a Touchstone Distinguished Book Award (2018). An award-winning poet and digital artist, she has been writing Japanese poetry forms in English since the late 1970s. Her work has been published throughout the world, and she is the author of dozens of books. Her latest include Dancing the Tarantella (tanka and cherita) and Scratches on the Moon: Haibun, both of which are available on Amazon and Kindle; and The Color Blue, which was released by Red Moon Press in 2017. Her out-of-print haiku and tanka books, as well as her newest works, can be read on Kindle.

Ms. Rotella’s passions include her acupuncture practice in Arnold, Maryland, and mobile photography. Her mobile art has been showcased in Porto, Portugal and in Florence and Milan, Italy and continues to be featured in many on-line venues. Her digital art is for sale online at Alexis Rotella Designs.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Purple: A Parable by Alexis Rotella, with pictures by Diane Katz (Rosenberry Books, 2008)

Purple, the first poem Alexis ever wrote, and one which has been reprinted many times during the decades since

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