"

The light pollution cannot touch the stars. They litter the sky from moon to horizon. The Milky Way aligns with the river in front of us. I stand with my back against your chest, your arms wrapped around me, trying to hold in my warmth.

You tip my head up, fingertips firm and gentle on my chin. Your eyes fall under the shadow of your brows, the colour indiscernible. I press my head against your chest. I memorise your heartbeat and the steady rhythm of your lungs.

Sing a song, I ask.

You want me to sing? You sound surprised but pleased.

Yes, please.

Your voice is low and husky. Tonight the stars speak of your infinite love… I could almost hear the words before they left your mouth. You can probably feel my smile against your sternum. I could sing along but I stay silent, drinking in your voice, absorbing the vibrations into my veins.

Your voice slips into silence like a lonely boy lowering himself into a lake at sunrise. You hold me to this earth.

The stars are cracks in the sky that I’m bound to fall through.

"

you, me, and the stars [r.s.]

"You shine. You shine so bright and you don’t see yourself from the outside but you are beautiful. I can’t stop thinking about you. I can’t shut up about you. I could listen to your stories all day. You say you spill out your heart but it’s not running through the cracks in the floorboards. I catch it in my hands and I hold it. You are precious. You matter. You matter so much."

[r.s.]

"It’s winter. I lift my knees high as I wade through the snow. My breath is pale against the green of the fir trees. I’m wearing gloves but my hands are still cold. I breathe on them but that doesn’t help. My parents are just a few rows over, inspecting each tree carefully. This one is too tall, that one isn’t full enough on the bottom. I make my way over to them. Even though I feel too old for this, I slip my hand inside my father’s. His grip tightens. His hands are strong and warm and safe. They are the hands that held me tenderly as a newborn, gave me firm direction as a toddler; they are the hands that played guitar in the late evenings, the evenings I hoped would never end. His are the hands that held me when I cried, the hands that gesticulated wildly, emphasizing the excitement in his voice as we watched Sunday football games together. They have always been the hands that held me close throughout life - keeping me safe and warm and strong. Now they are the hands that let me go. But I know his hands are still there, waiting, for that moment when I need them. And they will always be safe and warm and strong."

my father’s hands [r.s.]

"Loving you will never be poison."

6 word story #7 [r.s.]

"falling: i, in - and you, out."

6 word story #6 [r.s.]

Trashed

old astronomy homework
pens
pencils
highlighters
[i can always buy new office supplies]
poems
[i was over the last one months ago]
pictures
[it’s all just taking up space]
oh,
and you
because you threw me away
first

[r.s.]

"We went for a walk under partly cloudy skies. I tucked my hand into the crook of your elbow and your other hand held a thermos of tea. Sometimes the stars would peak out from under their blanket. They are so far from us. Our words cleared the sky. The moon was a crooked smile. We walked and walked and walked, through the woods and under orange street lights. We found a park and sat on the swings. I started swinging, higher and higher. You said something but it was lost in the wind. I inhaled as I swung back, exhaled as I fell to the ground and swooped upward, weightless. In, out; back, up. My feet pointed to the Little Dipper. You watched me from below. I closed my eyes. I think I touched the stars."

[r.s.]

"he tastes like smoke and black coffee
smells like a lit match and cold rain
feels like endless wonderings of what if"

at the state line [r.s.]

"i am falling
in the spaces
between our words
where we exchange ourselves."

texts at 3:18 a.m. [r.s.]

"My skinned knees are the only evidence of my prayers."

10 word story #7 [r.s.]