Your dead hands in mine. The last gasp of winter
pulling at our coats. A blanket of clouds shielding
us from God. Small steps on the sidewalk in front
of the library. You ask if we can go in for a minute.
I sit and read a book. You disappear in the stacks.
Someone else hears your confession. I watch
the clock. We are slowing down. Time is slowing
down. Later there will be room to move quickly.
We leave the building and do not look back. You point
across the road. This is where I leave you, you say.
You don’t see this part. I ask for a reminder, a token.
You take your affliction from your pocket and press
it into my palm. There’s so much I’m unable
to tell you. Try to not use words to figure me out.
My story’s not written for you to consume. It’s here—
A tap to my forehead. A smile. You go on ahead.
Josette Torres received her MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Tech. She also holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from Purdue University. She is the Writer-in-Residence at The Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg, Virginia.