“Excuse me, miss?”

He said with a laugh.

“You dropped your hat.

Well, the wind carried it back.

Please do not fear

I have it here

dangling from my middle finger

so you can place it

once more

on top of your hair.”



The woman blushed,

Rustled ruffles

At the top of her skirt,

“I had no idea the wind

was so violent.

Next time, I will place my hand


so it will not disappear,”

She showed him the gesture

That could make it stay


She began to walk away.



“Excuse me, miss?”

He said with a sigh.

“I noticed your eyes

look a little wet

not drowning with tears

but dripping with sap—

are you a tree

whose roots

have misplaced the map?

I mean only to say

You must have lost your way.”



The woman grunted

But not like a dog

More like a monkey

Throwing her feces

Off the side of a log.

“I do not like what you have said

but I will forgive you in time—

not today—


when the sun is high

and the mood is right.”

She wiped the moisture dry

And pretended she could cry.



“Excuse me, miss?”

He said in a shout.

“The fingers on your hand

look cold and pale—

the color is bland

like a deserted land.

Would you like me to paint your nails?

Maybe red?

What about black?”



The woman hissed

Like a snake in a pit

Drew her hand back

Thrust it forward in a fist.

When it reached the space

In front of his lips

He stopped it

Blew it back with a wisp of breath

And a kiss.



“Excuse me, miss?”

He said with a smile.

“When I kissed you

I tasted venom and bile

as though your insides

were squeezed like a sponge

placed on my tongue,

the contents ran in and

all the way down.

I can feel your poison in my throat.”



The woman whistled

Like a child with sweets


Winked with her good eye


Turned away

Like goodbye,

“I will be going now

but I enjoyed our game

I will call you the winner

And I will take the shame—

the shame of a loser whose hat blew away.

I hope if we meet another time

On a blue and green day

In a decade or a week

Or longer—

Maybe on my birthday—

That you will be more careful

Tell the truth

When you speak.”



“Excuse me, miss?”

He said through his ire.

“Am I to understand

you call me a liar?

What reason do you give

to treat me this way?

I feel

through the twitches

in my mustache

I should have let the damn thing

fly away.”



The woman lifted off the ground

Hovered above him,

“A woman is like a fish

Her hat is like her fin,

If she lets a man’s hook

Pierce through to within

She knows she has the man

And her hat, as well.”



With that,

The woman

Flew up

And away

And the man sunk into hell.


–copyright Jill Szoo Wilso

Photo credit: the beautiful German painter Miriam Vlaming‘s piece, IN BETWEEN, 195 x 170cm, egg tempura on canvas, 2016.  Please further explore Miriam’s art by visiting her website and her Facebook page: Miriam’s Website , Miriam’s Facebook Page.


Special thanks to Oakland California artist John Casey whose casual wisdom is inspiring me to attempt surrealism in my writing.