Tag Archives: Ken Edward Rutkowski

The Secretary By Ken Edward Rutkowski

I read to you under the tall, metal lamp.  Your glasses were suns around the corona of your eyes.  I licked the black asphalt from your face, from where you had fallen, from where you were pushed, shoved.   You read to me the story of your life and I read it back to the man sitting across the desk from you.

You sat down, a plug forcing its way into a socket.  You didn’t want to confess, sit. The light was harsh on your eyes.  Tears popped by the time they hit the upper arc of your cheek.  The lights were bright.  The man sitting across from you extended his black hand towards you, sliding with it a white piece of paper on the underside of his flat palm, his fingers wiggling like the legs of a tarantula climbing out of its hole and backing its way back in.

The tall, metal lamp was averted at an angle, upward, behind you to your left to give you light to read.  “Please dry the tears from my face.”  Two men reached from behind you, one releasing you from their cuffs, the other with his hands on your shoulders.  You began to read off the piece of paper.  What you read was the same story I had read to you earlier. You were supposed to read it aloud, for practice, so when you read it later it would seem natural and inherently prolific.  I recorded everything you said, scribing on my white piece of paper an impressionistic design of exactly what you were saying.

After you read those words into the chalky air you looked at me.  I remember because I wrote this down.  There was still a man behind you with his hands on your shoulders.  The man sitting directly across from you looked over at me.  You could not see this because the light from the metal lamp had been readjusted, blinding your eyes, filling the sockets with liquid sunshine.  He nodded at me and I read your confession to everyone in the room, verbatim, at least in the sense that the words on the piece of paper were created from faith.

One of the men breathing in the corner phased out of his shadow and re-attached the cuffs around your wrists.  “The silver lining around the sun.”   The man with his hands on your shoulders released pressure and they both pulled you from your seat.  The light went out and they dragged you, showed you the way to the door from where you came in.  As you passed by you kicked one of the legs to my chair, breaking the shocked silence of the room, dragging your toe nails across the floor, compressing your body into another room and shutting that door behind you, forever, for you remember.  Adieu.

I currently live in beautiful Bellingham, WA., where the fast, melting snow is creating a surge of ideas and colors sometimes in the form of poetry and sometimes in bitty, minute realms of existence. A novel entitled, “One Man’s Floor” is on hold.