by Molly Kelly
Last night, I stood on the hospital lawn with the sprinklers going off in front of me. The blond baby hairs of my upper lip were collecting beads of water. I shook my head from side to side and encouraged the man I was with to do the same. I had hope. When I got to my bed, I dreamed of peacocks and fireflies. The peacocks were in a frenzy, snapping their beaks shut around the fireflies, their wings flapping and their tails fanning out when another bird got too near. They were so great in number that the collective clacking of their beaks sounded like a newsroom of journalists at their typewriters. I tried to save the fireflies by collecting as many as I could in a jar, but they ran out of oxygen and died anyhow. The peacocks were screaming at me. That’s how I woke up this morning, only it was two in the afternoon and the cats were the ones screaming. I listened to them using their claws to ruin the molding at my bedroom door until four o’clock, and then I got up.
Molly Kelly lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where she teaches English as a Second Language at the University of Iowa. She is the living expression of her father’s Geist. Her works have appeared in Vending Machine Press and Donut Factory.