falling back into the cage of the chest. Hear how it knocks. Examining loss is another way toward
finding what you have. When I say you, I don’t mean “one.”
What you have is before you, always a little lonely for the next glance.
It doesn’t matter if every embrace is meaningful. Touch adds to itself. Bodies sell its thrill.
A reliance on language — can it solve the impropriety of absence? Who
left you, who will leave you, what comes next. It will happen, it will.
Along the Water
The girls who cut class walk down by the creek.
They gather handfuls of tall fescue still anchored in mud
and braid them, leaving hip-high green arches as a reminder
of a newfound restlessness. If boys knew anything — and some
did, but were too shy to let themselves be known — they would see
into these spontaneous structures the pressing need of hands
to touch and be touched, to work and test the fiber of limbs rising from the breathless ground.
-- Laton Carter's Leaving (University of Chicago) received the Oregon Book Award. Previous work has appeared in Brilliant Flash Fiction, Brooklyn Review, The Citron Review, Sonora Review, and Split Lip Magazine.