Broken Alabaster

The Calhoun County Courthouse is a mausoleal mid-century modernist confection, the juvenile detention courtroom then a windowless (Chinese) box on its second floor.

Perhaps I am biased. I remember envying the parents whose kid had gone on a wild joyride and the various parents of pot sellers and users.

I remember thinking the local Baptist pastor who was there for jury duty was a harbinger of God as I spilled out

The terrible story of why I was there.

Which had to be after the judge used the shade of our old oak tree for his big white truck. After his lawyer son stood across the street, bemused as Mary, on the roof, hurled her salty invectives at me.

After the juvenile probation chief told us they would not hold Charles forever and I thought to myself as I looked at him, (what do you have to do in the state of Texas to get yourself thrown in prison?!)

They say there is a library somewhere, an Ivy League kind of library, which has thin panels of white stone from floor to ceiling.

The light diffused through the thin white stone, perhaps to show-off or to shield the books.

I have searched for it for years, can’t find it

So much like a pearl, mother-of-pearl, an alabaster jar

Full of the most unmistakably broken


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