it was then, at 3:56 in the afternoon, another saturday spent in bed, that she realized it. the people on her walls, the places she had been, the things she had seen. she closed her eyes & felt his lips on the back of her neck & wished that he was there.
it came all at once, a sudden rush of images.
panorama of zion/s peak, majestic cliffs & the clash of colour. kissing her baby sister/s smooth round cheek & the gentle scent of youth that hides itself deep in children/s mess of hair. the downpour that cold afternoon in d.c. the first time she saw the eiffel tower. the clatter of children/s laughter, of a foreign tongue, & the hot dusty streets of a summer day in rural tijuana. times square under three feet of snow. the excitement, waiting there in that dark corner between those two old couches in the house on indiana street, waiting to be found; it always smelled of earth in there, earth & anticipation. lying in a field of buttercups. walking down the cement walkway in front of the old house for the first time, holding her pregnant mother/s hand & entirely conscious of her sagging pink wool tights. the deep smell of wood that filled the yard when her father was hard at work in the garage. afternoons in her bathing suit & tennis shoes, mowing the back lawn & working on her tan. skinny dipping in a lightening storm, smiling because of friendship & freedom, but mostly because she was finally in waters she recognized from back home. lying, sprawled on her back, in her living room that summer afternoon, listening to the song on the stereo much too loud. chuckanut drive. cloves & red wine in the rain. his back porch on winter nights. watching the sun slip behind seattle from that perch behind the tennis courts. the feeling in her stomach right before she jumped, whether at whatcom falls or into the columbia or by herself in the mountains in taiwan. rice paddies. seeing the tears in his eyes as he whispered softly "te amo" and slowly pulled his hand away. the sand dunes at sunset. one foot in one ocean & one foot in the other, no matter which, she couldn/t tell you now or then, but the unexplainable joy of the first time she found herself in two places at once. her down comforter. the top of the peak there at 3am; covered in dirt & snow & sand & sweat, exhausted but satisfied, it felt like she had conquered so much more than just a mountain. the tree at lorel park in mid-october. slipping her hand into his unnoticed. tidepools. the pacific ocean. fields & fields of tulips. her grandmother/s fingers gentle in her hair. trains. coffeehouses & open mic nights in seattle back when she still had a dream. late night diners with an open journal & a cigarette. her open arms there at the finish line. waking up to her old cat curled up, a ball of warmth beside her, the rain in the gutters so close above her bed. road trips. her first train ride east to spokane, with her sister, winding slowly through the mountains. ribbons & bows & feathers in her father/s hair. fingers softly, slowly, gently tracing the treble clef on her upper back. the pots of colour in yellowstone, the river, the tent, the ruts still in the ground from the pioneers/ trek west. the lights of the night ferry across to nanaimo. butterflies in the mountains of taiwan. his half smile. waking to cliffs off the pacific. the open road. lying with her head in her mother/s lap, protected.
their faces beaming, they all came to kiss her forehead softly and gently squeeze her hand three times no need to even whisper those simple words because inherently she knew.
they all did.
a few words about miss chelsea elizabeth...
oregon-born, seattle-raised, bellingham-bred and franco-refined, she had moved back to the states from her affairs across the atlantic & now resides in columbia city with french husband & love of her life rémy. they spend most of their time taming the garden, taking care of their three chickens & two cats, and preparing the urban homestead for a new little chick of their own.
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