We do it on nights when the stars hang low and heavy, ripe fruit in a black bowl of sky, nights when we’re so stoned we make bets about when the stars will fall on us. We’re always stoned, so what? The guy from Detroit is the first to take off his pants, the last to jump in. Snakes, he says. Or eels. He swims head-out like a dog, coughs water, a pot smoker’s wet hack. Years from now the cops will find him in a car trunk, shot once through the head, the pound of cocaine he was carrying long gone. For years I mouth-to-mouth him back to life, I dream him awake. He floats face up forever in a stew of stars, a body at rest patiently waiting.
Sarah Freligh is the author of four books, including Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis, and We, published by Harbor Editions in early 2021. Recent work has appeared in the Cincinnati Review miCRo series, SmokeLong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Fractured Lit, and in the anthologies New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction (Norton 2018) and Best Microfiction (2019–21). Among her awards are a 2009 poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts.