You are standing in line at the grocery store, buying eggs and pink frosting for your father’s cake. Suddenly you see her. Your mother. She is looking at the birthday cards. It’s been three years.
Your soul is glass. The air smells heavily of lilac and wet prunes. Your head is filled with wasps the sizes of copper pennies eating at blue brain like roaches. Your hands shake as you begin walking toward her.
“Hello,” you say.
When she sees you her skin drops. There is mascara on her eyelashes. There is something plastic about her mouth. Your eyes catch the smooth shadow of her neck marked with an imprint of a rope burn and patches of yellow bruising.
“I’m buying a card for your father,” she says. As if it’s the most normal thing in the world.
“Will they let you mail it?”
“I haven’t asked yet.”
You compliment her dress the color of yolk. She is asking about your fiancé. She is asking why you keep forgetting to water the plants, why you keep fingering the scar on your forehead, why the wires in your spine are broken, why there are worms on your tongue.
“Do you regret it?” you ask. “Choosing to leave?”
But she is already melting. You are screaming. Stay, stay, stay. Fluorescent lights are flooding your ocean. The cashier is asking if you’re okay, but the sky has opened and sucked her up once again. You are already halfway home when you realize you have forgotten all about the eggs and pink frosting.
Iryna Klishch is a young emerging author who is currently an undergraduate at Denison University and is studying creative writing. She hopes her words leave scars.
Lead image: “Aisles in the Sky” (via Flickr user Cameron Russell)
Impressed with the emotional images, the feeling of grief.
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