Nina Oteria

“In a dream, you could do that. Hug someone you haven’t seen in years without crying.”

In a dream, you could do that. Hug someone you haven’t seen in years without crying.
You could feel like you still lived in your old bedroom. You could go back to before like
nothing, like magic, like the reverse of water down the drain.

I wish I could have said what I wanted to then, but I was trying to hold back the wind
from my cheeks. The minute stretches long then time splits me into colors. Suspended
in time, we spin leaves before they hit the ground. Let’s dance in front of the garage!
Let’s catch the frogs and the leaves and the neighbor’s dog called Muffin. He sings in
the yard to the cat called Cookie to come on home in a low melodic tone.

Time ain’t nothing anyway, just dirt on the rug. You can brush it out of the way with an
eyelash, out of the way with a word. You can visit me somewhere impossible and grand
but I’ll look for you in the dining room, at the cherrywood table, Sunday at three. You
know which chair, behind the hedges. I’ll leave the garden light on for you. I’ll wait as
long as I need to. The land demands us as we were. Innocent, loving, magnolia petal
soft, pine pungent. Resilient like air.

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