The buttons on the coat I’ve had since I was thirteen twist loose and roll away. Your letter fell into the fire and burnt away, leaving the ashes fiery orange, then fading to the black of night, an indoor sunset in the middle of the night. The chimney puffs wisps of smoke into the black sky, and they fly away into space, leaving grey, sprite-like tails which slowly fade into oblivion. I sit on the back porch, alone. It’s past midnight. Rain falls from my face as I roll my palms over the trunk of a big tree. It’s only twenty degrees outside but I’m not wearing the coat. It lays forgotten on the ground near the sleeping grass, stiff with the cold all the way to the fence. I lay in the grass now, the frost telling my body I’m still alive. I decide to wear the coat. My cat slithers out of the house, a snake in the icy grass. The ice settles in my face, and I close my eyes as my cat squishes into the sleeve of my coat. The neighbors horses nose the gate and it sounds like dynamite. My heart screams at the sound, and I bolt upwards, my lungs screeching insults at me as they work hard to keep up, but I don’t say a word. I get up and go into the house, my cat still in my sleeve. I crawl into my bed. He slinks over and begins fighting me for the pillow. I close my eyes. The moon shines through the window and traces a silhouette on the grey-blue walls of my room. As I drift away, my cat loses the war for the comfort of my pillow. He nuzzles my head, and I scoot my red curls away so he can curl on the pillow with me. I had a lot of nightmares, the tipped over nightstand and trashed bathroom tell me in the morning. I set about slowly, cleaning the smashed glass of a broken decoration off my bathroom floor. I finish, and press my heels against a cabinet, sinking to the floor. The light bulbs inside the Broadway style fixture over my sink flicker, dancing, confusing my brain until I have to close my eyes because I can’t see a thing. I feel like I’m drowning in the flickers and in the world, and closing my eyes makes it worse, but opening them is worst of all. My cat comes and rubs against my arm, snapping me away from the drowning feeling that has washed over me like a river’s tide. I pick him up. Then I cry.
April 9, 2017