This letter is not liver-spotted or decaying. Ferns feather this letter. Never
will this letter be referred to as an institution, nor will it endure or persevere.
This letter has lilt. Clearly, this letter lives somewhere lush. It does not
possess charisma, only depth. This letter is not drenched in burgundy hues.
This is the one hundred percent tropical letter. Pineapples bruise and drip
inside these words. This letter would not stop for a circus or a snack.
It is not boisterous or benevolent; however, it is breathtaking. Full bloom:
unscented, oiled. Perhaps the tide comes in with this letter. The octopi
and the flaking salt, driftwood wearing seaweed necklaces, dribbling pebbles
and shells. A rocky sunset in this letter. Illicit beach fires. Sunburned thighs.
All the limes split and squeezed, drying on the cutting board. A crow
in the driveway. Indifferent aunts. One plane missed. Hungarian stew.
And then, he couldn’t stop the feeling. He missed her pants and hips,
lint between the computer keys, the purr of the electric toothbrush,
how she bent to pull tomatoes from the vine, dig at potatoes, her various
hunchings. Nothing resigned. Their love expanded, like a balloon too
close to flame. He held the burning tip of it between his fingers. Scraped
at the good root of things he knew. He’d buy her a sundress and grow
a mustache. Put a hand to her heaving clavicles, one cracked rib. The morning
was a dewy one. She remembered standing in front of him in line, eyes reaching
the same distance. She could smell the sleep on him. He, wondering at the arc
between them, the dragonflies low over the water. Soon it would be their turn.
They wait, together, at the head of the line, each of them holding a particular
weight, carrying something. They feel it move in their hands.
by Emily Kendal Frey
published in DIAGRAM