Lydia Copeland Gwyn

Cotton

Come from your perch on the oth­er side of the room to where I sit with my book and my open pen. I’m still yours this evening. My arms are in your shirt sleeves, my feet in your gray cot­ton socks. The snow falls out the win­dow in wet, lacy flakes, and the chil­dren sleep in their room upstairs with the white noise and humid­i­fiers. You are still mine, and I still think of you in my bed like that. Like that first night we were togeth­er. I wore my Fay Wray dress and your body enveloped me like a dark hominid hand. Your lips tast­ed like cher­ry toma­toes. You were warm and wet and a lit­tle drunk. We fucked in the bed­room while my ex phoned and phoned the liv­ing room. Later the phone calls would turn into knock­ing on the screen door and then a twen­ty-dol­lar bill and a love let­ter taped to the win­dow. It was a sum­mer night and we had ear­li­er seen the Big Dipper while we shared a beer in a court­yard. We walked back to my house and kissed on my back porch. We kissed and walked. I walked back­wards. You braced the small of my back. Your feet danced me across the lawn and into the wall of my base­ment apart­ment. On the way inside, my hand feel­ing behind me for the open door, I looked into the night sky like an astro­naut glanc­ing back on a glow­ing Earth. I could see the beau­ty and motion, the past and present, the cities turn­ing on.

~

Lydia Copeland Gwyn’s sto­ries have appeared in the Journal of
Compressed Creative Arts, Smoke Long Quarterly, Quick Fiction, eli­mae,
Glimmer Train and else­where. Her chap­book, Haircut Stories, is
avail­able from the Achilles Chapbook Series. She lives in New Jersey
with her hus­band, son, and daugh­ter.