The Seventeen Seconds of Odette
Hidden in Sight
Resentment as a Kind of Relief
Over the Kanawha
Culled from the Flock
The Beauty in Fracturing
In Your Absence
It’s two a.m. and I’m falling asleep
on the line. I don’t remember what was said,
but it must have been good. It must
have been pretty good, because our
laughter is costly. “When I told
you to run, I didn’t think
that you would.”
I broke your mug this morning.
I tried to catch it, but it slid
through my hands. It hit the corner
but missed its mark.
It spun—slow-motion, fast-crash
across my floor,
making snow angels
in orange juice.
I wanted to tell you,
but I must have forgotten:
We carry so little
of ourselves these days.
Instead I keep you talking,
just to avoid the fact
that there is nothing left to say.
Because silence is now an admission;
absence is what makes
the mouth go. There are only
so many words between us.
Everything else is distance.
So I tell you to watch your step,
as I allow my feet to dangle off the roof.
Don’t look back until I tell you. Remember
Lot’s wife—she was the one
who looked back. She was the salt
that I tasted in your mouth.
I want you to pretend that I am right there
beside you, breathing into your neck
and grasping your hand; we walked behind
the corner store together,
so I could place my mouth near yours.
I don’t want to sit on these shingles forever.
The night has already heard our story
too many times.
About The Author
Emma Croushore is a freshman at Christopher Newport University studying neuroscience. In the rare moments when she is not in the lab, she enjoys good music, strange movies and books with happy endings. She has also been published in Falling for the Story, an anthology published yearly by the Northern Virginia Writing Project