by L Mari Harris
not live here anymore. share orange slices and salted peanuts on Route 66. keep Merle Haggard on repeat. not bring up last year. not wonder who she would have looked more like. not go down that road. say Grace. stop at that roadside stand. talk to the man sitting there. listen to his stories of passing poets and spring tills and unexplained lights flickering in the night sky. buy the big box of yellow and orange and red tomatoes. fill our mouths, the juice running down our arms to puddle in our palms. kiss after we eat the last one. snap photos of each other in front of the world’s biggest metal dinosaur. send a postcard to the roadside stand man: we get it now, our initials in a flourish. rewrite our book of revelations in a gentle font. find an old barn filled with hay. hunker down until the rains pass. not turn our bodies away from each other like yesterday, last month, last year. lock eyes again. make a steeple of our fingertips. remember how we stumbled into each other when we were both looking the other way.
A lot of my writing centers around the push and pull of relationships, and how so often we struggle to maintain and nurture our individualism while committing to the person with whom we’ve partnered. It’s not an easy road, filled with unexpected twists and turns. While this piece is a work of fiction, one part of it is true. It was one of those days when we were irritated with life and with each other, and every innocuous sentence spoken seemed to increase the irritation level in each of us. And that’s when “Let’s rewrite our book of revelations in a gentle font” popped into my head, and I wrote the first draft that night.
L Mari Harris’s most recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ponder Review, (mac)ro(mic), Bandit Lit, Pithead Chapel, Tiny Molecules, Trampset, Bending Genres, among others. She lives in central Missouri. Follow her on Twitter @LMariHarris and read more of her work at lmariharris.wordpress.com.