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As They Leave the Lily Place

After they stole his car they wanted to give him something back. A love letter proving he’d lied. He was the boy who’d left early that morning and missed his plane. He was swimming under the sky in a pool bordered by grass. He would come home on a day when the house was bright but the hallway dank and cool. The wind fluttered through our photographs. Someone laughed at dinner. I spent the night in a different neighborhood. When Loren came to the doorway his face was something entered into. He had the miniature sound of things. He was recording water in a bowl. The place still smelled like what I believed to be him. A medium skin. It captured heat. Light got onto the trees. Everything went down our street. We ran a line between our rooms. I thought of him through the walls and echoed down the sidewalk. I abandoned the car far from our home. He heard the steps where he slept. Then the deep months came to the whole area and we spent a season in our own kitchen. His fingers closed around my throat on the hottest day. This was during a time of year it should never have been. They said the planet was changing. We thought the sheer force of our bodies could move us.




Jennifer E. Brown is a writer from San Francisco. Her work has appeared in Lungfull!, Indiana Review, Fourteen Hills, Digital Americana, and other literary journals. She has been nominated for the Pushcart prize by Indiana Review and by Short, Fast & Deadly. She holds a master’s degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and is currently studying at the University of Oxford.