The Child’s Profundity
I don’t know what time is. I’ve never been a boat. When you yell I picture a chimney. The bath is warm like pudding. I dreamt I was a ball. I don’t want to say I love you too much. Eyebrows don’t seem to do too much. Whenever I’m quiet my head is loud. Once I saw a fish floating. The garden mostly grows worms. Today is as long as the world. You only cry happy sad. When I move my hands like this – Papa, look. Look, Papa.
It would seem a smart wager to bet love will skip town again having just shared lunch with you and a nice walk on the beach sipping Chablis. You cannot trust Chablis. There goes love now, teeth in their waistcoat pocket. Love even took your scowl and your favorite scarf used as a tourniquet for a neck wound. You hug the wounds close. Moon. Waves. All that stuff that makes you kiss like a bee goes deep into the flower. You don’t even think to say goodbye and doubt you’d have said it if you did. You say now, See you later, and never plan on it. You win. Stupid love on a boat down some river you name Stupid River. Love will be sad it left you. And you will be happy. Whatever you bet – passion, spite, pity and things like that – you have in droves. What you wanted. Until one afternoon fixing a flat in the rain thinking life is done with its meddling a car pulls up next to you rolls the window down and a stranger smiles. Says, I’ll take everything you got.
NICK READING is the author of Love & Sundries (Split Lip Press) and The Party in Question, winner of the Burnside Review Chapbook Contest. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in New Ohio Review, Mid-American Review, Cortland Review, Painted Bride Quarterly and others. Visit him at www.nickreading.com
Cover image by Sarah Louise Wilson.
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