Something is happening, you know that much. But you don’t understand. You are five and cannot know that death always comes sooner, rather than later.
They cling to the branches a little longer this year, and it takes a second storm to scatter them. One rainy morning she rakes them into a pile, and the loamy smell sparks a memory. Abby’s voice caught in the drizzle.
“I never know if this is the beginning or the end.”
‘Cumulospiration,’ he said, and watched as she stretched out her hand and tried to grasp it. A small sigh as it vanished.
‘Gone,’ she said. And he shared her disappointment.
I drew a line of my own, but did not tell you. It followed the contours and undulations of your steadfast delineation. Rising and falling in parallel. Stretching forward to the horizon, to a point where the world falls beyond reach.
You could never know, of course, what a china cup could mean to someone. She knew that as she watched you drink and place the cup back in its saucer, casually, as if a cup was just a cup.
Out on the lake, the low plaintive call of Canada geese lingered in the mist, the sound reverberating in the moist air like an echo.
This story was first published by Visual Verse
And it’s only art that can take you by the hand and show you the way towards joy, towards life.
Then up the mountainside, to wash your eyelids in the rain.
There’s blood. I taste it when I swallow, metallic and unmistakable, like the tip of a battery on my tongue, and when I try to cough it up, a hand touches mine and something bleeps.