In the Light, I See… by Santino Prinzi
…You. You’re in the strip of light that bleaches my carpet a lighter shade of magnolia. My feeble curtains can’t block you out. If I lay on the floor, you’re in my reach—that is, if I wanted to touch you. And I don’t, even though I know you’ll feel warm—warmer than I remember—and that’s why I won’t touch you. No, you can’t be doing better now. I rise from the floor, tiptoe to the window as if not to wake you, and squint as I draw the curtains tighter… In the light, I see you. This time you’re twirling in the condensation that drapes the bathroom in bedsheets of mist. I forgot to put on the extractor fan while having a shower, forgot to open a window, had my shower too hot so I could feel something. And in the light bursting through the window you’re in the moisture, dancing across the creeping damp. We used to go dancing all the time, before maintaining your sofa indentation became a priority. You’ve changed your priorities for him though, haven’t you? Because he’s a better man, a man’s man. I could open the window, let the outside chill claw the warmth, watch you disappear; I stand wrapped in my towel, dripping, watching… You. The raindrops sliver down the window, gaining in size, strength, and velocity. I trace you with my fingers; our glass partition. You’re still you, but you’re different, like a tree when its leaves have blown away. Or am I the tree? Am I the one who remains in spite of it all—changed, but the same?… Soon, in spite of all the light, you’ll be nowhere to be seen. I’ll think of you—of him, of what you’ve done, of the two of you together, husband and husband—and the moment will flitter past without resonance. There’ll be no gravity, no gravitas; only the need to pick up more milk from the store on the way home. The sun will warm my skin, the trees will have leaves again, and in the light I will see that you’re finally gone.
Santino Prinzi, from the United Kingdom, is the Co-Director of National Flash Fiction Day (UK), Flash Fiction Editor for Firefly Magazine, and a First Reader for Vestal Review. His debut flash fiction collection Dots and other flashes of perception is available from The Nottingham Review Press. For more information visit his website: tinoprinzi.wordpress.com