fingers bloodied with fruit flesh, she echoes my name from across the curb. something about “found a really good one right here“. a fused-berry or another ladybug. both of which, in her eyes, are red with adoration. it’s high noon and i have a plane to catch in five hours, so we kill time with aged jokes and vegan chili, ignoring my boarding pass notifications. we tie a string from my rib cage to hers, slack of 670 miles. she pulls. i pull back. we smile with hurt, a bittersweet taste of bloody berries and aching hearts. “August isn’t that far.” it absolutely is.
walking away from her car and into AVL, i trip on our rib string. a sigh of aching and another embrace. we had built a home in this mountain town, only to be leaving it vacant in it’s own harbored heat.
we built a furnace from odd cafes, a living room in cliffs and secret overhangs, a ballroom on open highways with Indigo De Souza blaring. leaving this hurts. it hurts more than either of us knows how to express. so we laugh. smile. and hold one another as salted fondness decorate each other’s sleeves.
we tug on the rib string once more before I turn away. it tightens with each step further. our breaths rattle in loosened rib cages and our voices echo one another until it drowns out airport intercoms and highway traffic.
“Tell me it’s not that far and I’ll believe you.“