She holds her head
in tanned, sun-kissed hands.
The hospital linoleum radiates cold
and the chair seems to be forged from steel,
but she is immobile.
The only things moving are the memories
that churn like sweet acid in her veins.
When she was little,
her father gave her
the wheel of their motorboat
and said “drive”,
and she learned to plough the lake,
a harvester of the waves;
the white gush of the wake shone
like diamond ears of corn in the
hot August sun.
She remembers her mother telling her,
many summers ago:
“you’ll be burnt to a crisp”
when she insisted on remaining outside
after everyone else had already fled
the 90 degree melting weather.
Like bacon, she’d thought,
and if she cooked
she’d be the best damn bacon around.
She recalls whole days spent on the water
and green tea afternoons;
story time with her little sister
out in the old hammock under
the hawthorn tree.
And she remembers the sun.
It shines outside,
filters through the window
onto her sun-bitten fingers, and
it has given her the freckled coffee skin
that whispered beauty once.
Now it only screams of her curse.
Kasey Dearing is eighteen and lives with her family in the small city of Edgewood in Northern Kentucky. She owns two unruly cats, a spastic dog, a fearless rabbit, and a fish named Ragnar, for whom she plans to hold a proper viking funeral for - flaming ship included - when he passes. Should be any day now.