How the Night Slipped Through Our Fingers

Mary Seventeen Spring went missing. We grew impatient with inconclusive reports, our own lives like footprints in deep soil. Dried mud covered our hands. In basements we spoke of the sonograms of unborn progeny. We chose our fathers’ red-flecked shovels, our mothers’ dry-cell flashlights. We kept fireflies at a distance and at night we embraced the belly of pregnant farms. We bled under our nails. We found skeletons beneath grave sites. Knife holes pierced the treads of our well-worn tires. We knew why but not who. We dug tunnels and met in each other’s house. We accused the other of withholding evidence or wept from moon-lit guilt. Our memories became blanched. We could only talk through sheets, broken screens. We quit our daytime jobs and fired our old bosses. The undertow of night kept returning us to the crest of morning. Each morning cried Mary. By afternoon, we wanted face lifts and new jargon to resemble her. To hold her. We dug other holes and crawled in a thousand directions. We grew blind and conceded old maps. We reached up and pulled Ohio down with us. Indiana, we seduced, redesigned her boundaries, left her floating as a jigsaw piece in the sky.

Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. His stories and poems have been featured in Literary Tonic, FourPaperLetters, Why Vandalism?, Emprise Review, Catalonian Review, and others.