What would life have been like had someone walked alongside you, friend, met you on the other side of you and all around you, suspended you, weightless by the boughs of the earth so that you could fill yourself on the ripest pears, gather them in glazed bowls, let the ground honey your blood— I thought of you growing steady like the eclipsing moon, shaking off all the red from the atmosphere.
The human body can only hold so much before it begins to rock and bend something away from itself. It will lash out. It will spill itself into shapes that resemble the round, lonely corners of ice caves and tide pools, pink spikes of starfish bleeding into the blackest ash you ever knew, and you will wonder where you went wrong.
See how they move, these apparitions like rainfall. Slowly, we are learning the names of all the dead we will ever know. We are storing them away in bathroom drawers, we are dropping them next to spare buttons, oyster shells, and river rocks plucked from the shore. We bump our knuckles up against them, smooth them over our thumbs.
Throw yourself into the water as if your life depended on it. See if you walk. Drink it in, even though the dogs fetch bones there, even though everyone else is clawing their own way out of the riverbeds and you felt someone drink from your waking. Breathe in the current, silver-white and borderless— it was always yours.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 5.
See all items about Alyssa Jewell