today. In a later aisle, he’ll load up rain. The fierce kind right before hail.
That’s just Darren the teenager. Dog leash chains dangling through black pockets.
Jenny will hold my hand and agree with me – a cart full of sun, the tangerine
summer kind. A bundle of clouds so thick it looks like you could dance
across them and never fall through. And Claude, in Aisle 10, examines the edges
of lightning bolts. Checks for sharpness, color. Looks for hot pink and spark yellow.
Claude, who used to buy wholesale snow so we could trap ourselves inside for a day.
Make macaroons and love.
At the weary end, Jenny detaches herself. Considers sleet by Darren’s side. He allows
her to hang on his belt loop. Claude takes my hand and we pick out bushels of fog, a batch of mist. Because that’s how he first saw me. Bursting late from that dormitory door, rushing in fog. You floated to me, he said. And tiny spots of mist touched down on us in separate ways.
Martha Clarkson manages corporate workplace design in Seattle. Her poetry, photography, and fiction can be found in monkeybicycle, Clackamas Literary Review, Seattle Review, Alimentum, Hawaii Pacific Reivew. She is a recipient of a Pushcart Nomination, and is listed under “Notable Stories,” Best American Non-Required Reading for 2007 and 2009. She is recipient of best short story, 2012, Anderbo/Open City prize, for “Her Voices, Her Room.”