Gray towers of cinder through the hemlock trees along the highway railed in by metal. And it is twilight, and everything becomes a little aqua blue from the sky and neon the gas station glows along this rush hour. I am trying not to remember you. I am trying to tell myself I have gone a long way and not imagine you as I used to in every room of those towers. The cubicles where stellar equations that go past any moon you or I could ever know the name and radio emissions for. The years I knew you, I swear it was as though I lived in another place in time— a galaxy of astonishing auras and warming translucent ocean plasmas. I try not to remember pressing what was good from the earth to my lips or the skin of my palms in the foreign mart room with cinnamon sticks from Sri Lanka and rose extract from Egypt. I haven’t been there in ages, but I liked how it was with everything. The fragrance there and the chlorine pool water blended with gasoline and foamy car wash detergent, the budding blossom tress and walled garden pink and red geraniums moist late spring after a small rain in this city where I waited to meet you, in a district not so from here. City, where I have returned and must go again a long way from. I see you sometimes still in my dreams. I see you and it’s the realest thing in this all so watery world.
Michelle Askin’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Raleigh Review, Arkana, Willard & Maple, Fogged Clarity, Pleiades, Bending Genres, and elsewhere.