It was raining commas when the writers fell in love.
Sometimes he found that the stars reminded him of her freckles like asterisks.
Sometimes she found that the curve of the moon recalled the purple crescents under his eyes.
Sometimes they were so busy trying to remember the way the other looked in that certain slant of light that they forgot each other’s birthdays.
Sometimes they felt like independent clauses clinging by a faint semicolon, but mostly, they felt like synonyms.
They lived in forts of quilts and books and sweaters hanging like clauses, until they bought a crooked house at the end of a crooked lane.
They collected gently-used films, ink stains, dust on the windowsills, and an amaranthine grocery list.
They collected old words, short words, compound words, words on the tips of their tongues, words like meridian, equinoctial, and lassitude.
When the leaves fell they wrote about the trees reflected in the puddles and skipped stones like ellipses.
When it snowed they remembered to dot their i’s and cut across the pond, footprints like handwriting on a blank page.
When it was winter, they slept nested like double left parentheses, so closely that sometimes they stole each other’s dreams.
When she told him that his lips tasted like the discreet melancholy of a period, he kissed the quotation marks between her brows and smoothed away the connotation of self-doubt.
And when she found the antique coffee ring on the bedside table
she quickly left her own Venn diagram of Earl Grey interlaced
like a conjunction.
The neighbors noticed it always rained in the crooked house.
Of course it always rained, they were writers after all.
The writers, however, were drunk on the polysyllabic dripping down the roof, flash floods for flash fiction, and simply carried on.
And throughout the crooked house
tears pooled in the bathroom sink the rusty kettle the bathtubs run cold the clay mugs and saucers like a run-on sentence
it was raining commas again.
Jillian Briglia is a high school writer from Portland, Oregon. She enjoys filmmaking, reading, and being with friends in her spare time. Her poetry has been published in a WITS Anthology, VoiceCatcher, and in various school publications.