Prologue: I’m Losing

Tell me again about the time when we were babies and our thoughts were music. The wooden swing set, magnolia tree, camellias big as hats. The first taste of honeysuckle. Tell me the backyard wasn’t fenced at all, but an open field, a glade, any land untamed.

The hum of locusts at night and how they slipped out of themselves without us knowing, left shells in trees. How we learned to do this, too. How when we climbed to the top of the magnolia, it was never high enough, and when we learned there was a fence, we wanted to escape it. And the dog always did, every chance she got. Yet we chased her because we loved her, because she knew our story. We carried the dog home, to us, and she licked our feet like the day before.

Tell me again how we did this, how we brought something back that slipped away in the night. And how we can’t stop shedding skin and losing ground. And how do we (do we?) recover.

Carroll Beauvais teaches creative writing at Syracuse University. Her work has appeared in The Collagist and elsewhere.