A piece of green sea glass. Almost perfect, almost smoothness, but not quite,
you placed it on your tongue, said you weren’t afraid of being cut. I was always
the most afraid not of the pain but of the color, that surprising spill of red.
The beads scattered across the floor. They rolled to every corner, losing some
into the cracks in the floor. You had said that we should count them. I count
them now and the number is never quite right.
The coffee grounds at the bottom of the cup. They settled like tea leaves. The
tasseographer refused to read them, though. She claimed you couldn’t see the
future in all that darkness. You told me secrets about the way that the flecks
of coffee meant more than I could ever know. I crunched them each between my
teeth, devouring the future.
Tree limbs littered across the valley floor after the wind
storm danced them all to death. You told me to count the buds of leaves that
wouldn’t ever get to unfold. I tried but there were so many and I was never
good with numbers anyways.
A painting of a girl falling backwards. She was falling
towards the nothing outside of the canvas. You said that I wasn’t looking
properly, that I wanted too much. I wanted to find everything inside the four
walls of the painting.
The twists of a seashell. You put it to my ear and said
listen to the sound of waves. I only heard children laughing miles away.
Sweet sugar cookies crumbling when picked up. You placed
them to your lips. I thought of stars exploding across the sky, leaving trails
of shimmering, like sanding sugar.
A sky filled with lightning. The white scarring the sky, but
only for a moment. You pointed out the way they made patterns, told me to close
my eyes. I did and the lightning played ghosts across the dark.
The waves moving backwards. The film strip placed in the wrong
way, each turn taking the water away from us. You leaned over and told me that
if I moved my eyes fast enough back and forth across the screen then it would
move forwards again. I tried and it didn’t.
The unmade bed. Blankets that tangled me up. You said that
you saw me sleeping once and thought I was running in my dreams. I always am
running away in my dreams.