The Last Widow
The last widow misses men. The last widow misses her husband
a great deal, but she also liked men in general. She refuses
all of the invitations to appear on morning news shows until
the medical bills turn out to be more than she can swing, and she
accepts the money to be interviewed. The last widow tries, this time
on air, to explain that the past wasn’t like what people think it was,
and how now that the only thing anyone knows of men are from
Victorian novels and internet pornography, people have a skewed
idea of what men were like, and no, she’s not saying that rape wasn’t
a problem, and yes, we do have more options with the wonderful
things that are being done with silicone, but really, it wasn’t just
penises that she liked, and in fact her own husband’s wasn’t at all like
the ones you see in the surviving documents, and really, no woman
she knew behaved like the women in those videos, so can’t you
understand that most of the men were different too? Some of her
friends suggest that she seek comfort with one of the young people
who have the facial hair that’s so in style now, and the last widow
wants to say, “I’m not a lesbian,” but that word doesn’t have much
meaning now, in a world without men, and it’s not really that she
wants a substitute for the husband she misses, as much as that she wishes
people understood what it is that she wants back.
The Last Mirror
The last mirror was put on trial. The last mirror was accused
of inciting vanity, of lacking originality, of encouraging vice,
of being nothing more than a parrot or an echo.
The last mirror’s defense was that Echo had shown devotion
to the man she loved, and that parrots love their pirates.
The last mirror insisted that vanity, like greed, can be good,
because really, every man should love himself. The last mirror
argued that vice is a lot of fun every now and then,
and that imitation can also be a form of love,
why even Freud, that old master, could not distinguish between
the desire to possess and the desire to be. The last mirror
lost the case. As you may have guessed, it was a show trial.
The judge said that love is not a defense, and even ejected
the viewer who laughed when the prosecutor
asked the mirror in a froth of rage and anger
“What’s love got to do with it?” entirely unaware of the song
by the same name. The judge ordered the last mirror
shattered into a hundred thousand pieces on the courtroom floor.
When the bailiff had shattered the last mirror,
each one of the pieces proclaimed that now
it was the last mirror, however small the piece might have been.
The judge held the prisoners in contempt
and called every piece a liar.