By Melissa Goode
We walk through the greenest park, my hand inside your hand, inside your coat. You turn your head to look at a puddle. Not now, I say, and we keep moving. No more. No more staring at the ground or finding reflections in reflective surfaces. In our house, we dance, your hand burning the small of my back. You pull me so close that I feel all of you, every single cell. Don’t say we are mostly water—I know it. Are you thinking of it too? What is happening to her—the unfurling and the breaking down. Oh, Jesus. We dance and the music must be loud and fast—if it is Patti Smith, then it has to be “Because The Night”. It cannot be Marianne Faithfull, not in this lifetime. No one sings children like she does. We spin, turn, wheel, you and me. Or we sway, rock, stumble. It all depends on how much wine we have drunk. I am ready for you to drag me down to the floor. I am. Touch me now. Are you thinking of it too? Stepping into the water until it is over our heads. Outside the magnolia scrapes against the window with small gray fingers. Yes, it is her. Don’t tell me it isn’t. There is nothing to be done about the square of yellow sunlight that crosses our kitchen table every fucking morning.
Melissa Goode’s work has recently appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, WhiskeyPaper, New World Writing, Split Lip Magazine, matchbook, Blue Fifth Review, (b)OINK, and Jellyfish Review, among others. One of her short stories has been made into a film by the production company, Jungle. Her novel manuscript “What we have become” was selected by Random House in 2016 for a fellowship with Varuna, the National Writers’ House in Australia. She lives in Australia. You can find her here: www.melissagoode.com and at twitter.com/melgoodewriter
Art by Issue 9 featured artist, Emily Truman
Emily has displayed work at various galleries, including “Nasty Women” in Philadelphia and “Vulvacular” in Chelsea, NYC. In addition to being in the process of becoming a teaching artist with South Central PaARTners through Millersville University, Emily holds a free monthly bring-your-own-everything collage workshop at Lancaster Art Studios, and teaches monthly workshops at The Candy Factory. Follow her on instagram at @collage__dropout.