by Francine Witte
Even from way down the cobbly street, I could swear it was you. But you were with another, not-me, woman, so there’s that. The sun went out in a blip. Rain out of nowhere. Out of the thing that looked like the sky. Gray and full of cloudfist. You(?) pulled the other woman into your arms. Up went a sudden umbrella. I stood, huddled under an awning. You, an almost street away and I could see the sunshine in both your eyes.
The two of you passing me now, I could still swear it was you. You were close enough that the air was filled with pine cologne, and the same kind of words that you once said to me. By now, the rain shut off. Stupid faucet. Sun was streaking back. Her hair was some kind of glinty with gold. I could hear you saying things like crazy and that woman in the doorway is no one.
Guess what? I’m not even looking at you. Instead, I’m focused on my fingers, my hand. I turn it over back and forth. Lifelines on the inside, veins on the out. I wonder if the patterns match. I turn it over again and again. My hand starts to look like a tiny bird. I step out from under the awning and hold it up to the sky. I whisper go on, find me something better. My hand looks like it could take off if I let it. Into the sky that doesn’t hold the sun or the rain, or anything, really.
Francine Witte’s latest publications are a poetry collection, The Theory of Flesh (Kelsay Press), a flash fiction collection, Dressed All Wrong for This (Blue Light Press), and a flash novella, The Way of the Wind (Ad hoc Press). She lives in NYC.