We had come so close. We rationed proteins, we doled out water in scant mouthfuls. If we were careful, there would be just enough. Then we ran out of fuel. Outside, a blue-green world rotates tantalizingly out of reach. I lick my dry lips and send another mayday.
It is nearly light and I have not slept. Pine boughs scrape the windowpanes. “Stay,” she murmurs when I stir, but the name she whispers is not mine. She drifts in and out, clutching the covers to her chest. Frost limns the window, and yet I lie here and burn.
Somewhere amongst the detritus of my younger days—the moldering books, the broken music-box, the worn-out dancing shoes—is a letter that contains your signature and a broken promise. Our entire history could be read in its creases and ragged edges, if I cared to find it.
Tonight I tasted falsehoods in her kisses. I see them, now, in the fall of her hair across my pillow and the angle of her hip. My heart is an overwound spring, an unsigned contract. Sleeping, she is honest: she does not love me.
We are in transit, forever walking between courtesies, forever skirting the edges of our discomfort. You stop to take a breath, to tie your shoe. I urge you on. Look, I say. Home is over the next ridge. No, you say. Home is in our hands. This microstory borrows a line from the poem she … Continue reading Odyssey