Hailstone and Big Band Numbers

Leave a comment

December 20, 2010 by The Citron Review

by Mark Sutz



Constance and Everly were peeling oranges in the kitchen when the hailstone came through the roof of the Buick.  She was supposed to bring the drinks to the first church social of the season. People were getting religious.  And thirsty.  Everly thought it was just another tree falling down. They were doing that more than usual that year.  Especially the walnut trees.  Everly said, Just another tree, when Constance looked up at him from the orange in her hand.  Everly was worried, the rictus of Constance’s mouth that the doctor said to be aware of, the most obvious sign of too much excitement.  Do you need a nitroglycerin, he asked.  She shook her head no and pointed with her knife toward the yard.  Everly checked, came back in with the hailstone, set it on the table, nestled it into the pile of peeled rinds.  Grapefruit, she said.  More like a basketball, he said. The storm had only peppered the roof for a few minutes, the sun never even disappeared from the window.  They moved chicken breasts and boxes of Neapolitan to the sides of the freezer, rolled the hailstone in, finished up the oranges.

The hole in the roof of the Buick made the ride from home to Our Sister’s Replenishment a bit breezy.  Constance spooned her left hand into Everly’s right for the silent length of the drive. They were first to the church multi-use room.  Everly had the hailstone rolled tight in an afghan and stuffed inside a potato sack.  He unwrapped it and put it in the crystal bowl on the center table.  It was cloudy as a diseased eye but about as perfectly round as anything he’d ever seen.  Constance poured the punch, Hi-C and seltzer, pineapple juice and chockful of oranges, over the hailstone and waited for Everly to ask her for the first dance.


Big Band Numbers

Water three times.  When you return home from work as a fragrance model, water twice.  The man at the nursery said the Stargazer would complement your demeanor.  When you lose your job, keep watering as scheduled, but peek out your window and check on the lily once an hour.  You will find that not working gives you an experience that working did not allow.  You and the flower both, bending, weaving, moving in the sun.  Cats rubbing along the growing stalk, oblivious of its toxicity to felines.  Coffee in your pajamas at 11:30 in the morning.  Passersby below your apartment marveling at the color of the flowers as you prune, cut, transplant and fashion an oasis pot by pot. Children and parents alike point and think your balcony must be an incognito movie star’s lair. When you see a man gaze at your flowers two days in a row, on the third day go to that crazy thrift store you’ve always passed by, throw together an Audrey Hepburn outfit with an Italian Riviera (circa 1950s) pair of sunglasses. Sit on your balcony with a bottle of beer and the first cigarettes you’ve smoked since you were twelve and got smacked across the face with the back of dad’s bony hand.  Find that last oldies station on the radio, the one that plays big band numbers and sounds like your grandparent’s humid porch in the summer, the station so low on the AM dial it’s past an inch of static.  Prop the radio in the windowsill and let the crackle of a band huge in the 30s fall out the window, over you and your balcony of lilies and let the gazing man on the sidewalk wonder why he never found a creature as lovely as you.


Mark Sutz writes with hunks of charcoal on large slabs of pavement. He resides on the first floor.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

🍋10th Anniversary

Fall 2019 IssueSeptember 23rd, 2019
31 days to go.

🍋 Instagram

David Galloway's "My Daughter Haunts" is now showing in our Summer Issue. https://citronreview.com/2019/06/21/my-daughter-haunts/ David Galloway is a writer and college professor of Russian. Born and raised in Maryland, for the past twenty-five years he has lived in upstate New York. His poetry and essays have most recently appeared in Watershed Review, Chiron Review, Atlanta Review, and The Remembered Arts Journal. #amreading #poetry #cheersto10years #supernaturalpoetry
Our Summer Issue features new original poetry from Andrea Jurjević. https://citronreview.com/2019/06/21/balkans-last-sworn-virgins/ Andrea is a poet and translator from Rijeka, Croatia. She is the author of Small Crimes, winner of the 2015 Philip Levine Poetry Prize, and translator of Mamasafari (Lavender Ink / Diálogos, 2018), a collection of prose poems by Croatian author Olja Savičević Ivančević. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. #amreading #poetry #cheersto10years #thecitronreview
Art-inspired poetry from Melanie McGee Bianchi. Our summer issue features a poem in the Alexander Calder universe. https://citronreview.com/2019/06/21/alexander-calder/ #amreading #ekphrastic #poetry #thecitronreview
Thanks for the feature, @duotrope! #marketoftheday #duotrope #TheCitronReview #onlinejournal #cheersto10years #amreading
Tommy Dean's a semi-finalist for the 2019 VERA at @vestalreview. We nominated his flash fiction: https://tinyurl.com/y5nc5b4t And here's a complete list of semi-finalists: https://tinyurl.com/y7djz932 #TheCitronReview #amreading #congratulations #flashfiction
"It’s time for a shave and a haircut; it’s time for a smoke and a beer." It's time for an excerpt from Bj Best's Ornithoncology in our Summer Issue. https://citronreview.com/2019/06/21/from-ornithoncology/ #amreading #poetry #cheerstotenyears

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: