I was browsing in that little bookstore, the one with the chandelier made of spoons, across from the restaurant with the grilled salmon salad you like when I picked up that book of poetry before I wondered if I could ever write something like that myself. The song that played overhead reminded me of the sweet scent on your collar, specific to hands that knead bread dough in a bakery, when you embraced me in the middle of that crowded downtown sidewalk. I longed to ask the cashier if she knew the song and tried desperately to remember a string of the words to look up later, but the melody charmed me into a stupor that transported me to autumn leaves and cobblestones and my gray jacket and sapphire scarf wrapped round my neck, like your arm hugged round my waist, so when I walked up to the counter to ask the cashier about the song, it had already passed. So, instead, I asked about the necklaces that hung on display made of repurposed antique keys, and I wondered if one might unlock a door to distant memories so that I could meet you on that crowded sidewalk and feel your hands warming my neck while our breath warmed the air, but I am pulled back to reality when the cashier mentions each one is handmade by a local artist, and I am reminded that you carved permanent grooves into my heart and I wonder if you ever realized that you are an artist yourself.
Lindsey is a writer born and raised in Upstate South Carolina. She has words in Emerge Literary Journal, X-R-A-Y, Emrys Journal, Red Fez, Schuylkill Valley Journal and more. She spends her time at home raising a strong, confident daughter. Find her on her website at https://r3dwillow.wixsite.com/rydanmardsey or on Twitter: @rydanmardsey.