Kelly Stark


Eyes can’t stop crossing. He said it was due to Mom’s drinking. Said you came out wrong. You never had a chance to ask her. Now you’re on your way to her. Boy at your side. Past the big red barn. Where it once stood tall. You tell him about how the sun set against it. About shooting hoops and shoveling snow. You don’t tell him about the noise in Dad’s throat. Or how you made it quit. The barn is gone is what you say. Then point to empty space. You pick the pace up. She sits just beyond the bridge. Five years to the day. Since before boy was born. The bridge covers the river. You used to lie by the shore. Broken glass all around. River sounds rushing in. Skin stuck to rocks. Boy spits over the edge. Stops to watch it drop. You imagine tossing boy off. Wonder how he would spread. You grab boy by his hand. Watch your step you tell boy. You sink in to her side. A slick mud uphill. Just a few steps left. She and boy have never met. And she is right where you left her. Cuts the same slim shape. Color sucked out. A few more cracks in the face. You’re about out of breath. But now still as can be. Till boy bends down. He pulls his hand free. He brushes dirt from her name. He lies across the flat stone.


Kelly Stark is a writer and musician living in Maine.