Blue Diamonds
Meredith Alling


I’m in Miami watching my mother twirl on a pole. One arm is out like an oar. People are watching, but they’re not staring; she’s not the only one dancing. And she’s not on a stage, she’s on the floor. The pole is a pipe, thick with black paint and sticky with gum. I sit on a barstool and sip a Coke. Whenever a new song starts she beckons me out with wiggling fingers. I bite the straw and shake my head. She throws a hand at me and spins away and shimmies into a fleshy mass of tanned 20-somethings. They greet her with arms up. Her freckled breasts bulge out of her flower-print dress and the halter-top knot holds on for dear life.

A young man in flip-flops and a sideways visor pretends to honk her chest; she pretends to slap him. Then they grind. I twist on the stool to look away. I see myself in the mirror and tuck a wild hair behind my ear. Then I see my mother in the mirror. My mother and the visor, grinding. She has her eyes closed. He lifts his hand to her chest and squeezes. Some of his friends point. She drops her head back onto his shoulder and her fluffy bangs swallow his ear. He moves his hand to her hip, then her thigh, then the hem of her dress. He reaches underneath and her mouth pops open.

I twist back around and stand. The visor looks at me, looks into my eyes. His hand moves in quick circles. I take a step forward and look at my mother. Her head is heavy on his shoulder. The visor keeps his eyes on me, moves his hand, pushes his brows into his eyelids.

I go back to my seat. I face away from the dance floor and the mirror and look at the chandelier above the DJ booth. It sways and twinkles and throws blue diamonds onto the walls.


Meredith Alling lives and writes in Los Angeles. Her work appears in DOGZPLOT, Monkeybicycle, Pithead Chapel, Wigleaf, and elsewhere. She has a website here and is on Twitter @meremyth.