on your hands


Thinking of you can be like conjuring the dead, a very dangerous game. I read something like that somewhere yesterday, and I have been carrying the notion around in my pocket, rubbing it like a lucky coin, checking constantly to see if it is still there. And I have decided it’s true. They told me to never write anything that starts: “when I wake up in the morning.” In the mornings though, this is where I keep you. There is a quiet space before the day has decided to become a day, and the light falls through the small window in the kitchen and catches my elbows as I make coffee. In the mornings, this is when I allow myself to think of you, to sit with the thoughts of you, to pay them mind and the respect they deserve. In the mornings, I think mostly about your hands. Why of all the things that make you, you, your hands are the part that come to me in silence. I know that people get spaces for reasons, though I don’t know what ours are. In the afternoons I write stories about women living in the south, and in the evenings I drink whiskey and read fiction at the bars alone. I let the books color certain sections of my life the way a new album can do. Sometimes, in the bar I pretend I am waiting for someone. I check the door and paint my face anxious. Though, the dead don’t come drinking in bars on 13th street on Wednesday nights. In the months to follow I will look back on this fall and certain things will surface about my being alone. You are one of them, though you and your hands always are. I write characters that speak the way you did and let smiles creep from the corners of their mouth, and they quote obscure french musicians and drink black coffee. I have written this though it isn’t morning anymore.

photograph by Jenavieve Belair

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