I want to know what love is.
There’s a place within me where sun grasses grow from damp wood, a small pocket of sunlight at the bottom of a marsh. I wander through sticky things, fluffy things floating around me in the heavy heat—dandelion seedlings, spider web threads, translucent wings flashing indigo, and monarchs fluttering low to the ground in search of fruity milkweed. But there’s also nightcrawlers burnt to a crisp. And poison hemlock clutching the shadows. And goldenrod being choked out by the guard rail. I step around smashed glass on the side of the road glinting like emeralds. I almost want to touch it, lick away the blood. The muggy air becomes laced with exhaust from a passing truck that pulls over to the side of this hometown road. The wind picks up. The air turns cooler. And a dark storm cloud inches its way across the sun, blotting out the heat, however briefly. I eye the truck, lingering by the curb.
All I know is what love is not: a black snake, up ahead, coiled in silence.
Jenn Powers is a writer and artist born and raised in the woodsy hills of northeastern Connecticut. Her fields of study are creative writing, Gothic literature, and nature/environmental writing. She's a self-taught visual artist and photographer, which she's been involved with since she was a child in the '80s and '90s. Her work has been anthologized with Kasva Press (Israel), Running Wild Press (Los Angeles), and Scribes Valley Publishing (Tennessee), and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions.
FLASH GLASS: A MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF FLASH FICTION, PROSE POETRY, & MICRO ESSAYS