To Reach the Dark Poets

She picked herself up from the base of the tree. She thought of talking to her mother.

“How are you?” she whispered to sky beyond the canopy. It was not windy but a chill ran through her body.

“Papa just remodeled the shop,” she continued. “He’s doing well. He misses you. I miss you.”

She watched the twisted, elegant curl of her breath in the evening air.

“I met someone a few days ago. I don’t know her well, but I have a feeling that I will. A strong feeling. Do you know what I mean? Maybe when you first met Papa, or someone else. The feeling that you are about to discover someone and there’s a world on fire inside.”

Iris thought of Mira and her dusky, hollow-eyed visage.

“But do you think I’ll tire? It’s exhilarating now, being able to plunge into everything with this type of love and fondness. But does it go away? Tell me that. Does it fade as people fade?”

Thoughtfully she took a stick of gum from her pocket, unfolded the paper wrapping, and placed the gum on her tongue delicately, chewing the top of the stick first, and then the other end, and last the whole, to gather in the flavor from all sides.

She recited, half-chewing, “Others must travel long paths to reach the dark poets—” and that was all she could remember.

Writing month, day twenty-six, word count: 24,149


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