By SHELDON LEE COMPTON
The silence saw the first kiss and told nothing, as silence is good to do. Remember a childhood like a smudge across a convex len, distorted into a time of happiness so that it doesn’t matter if it really was a time of happiness or not, because it is what the memory says it is. His get well soon card is lighter than expected, almost not there at all. No I LOVE YOU like so often before. No MY SECRET BEAUTY. Only one sentence saying he is going back to White Mountain. Remember what the two of you called White Mountain, the place you spent late afternoons building improvised log cabins and smoking weed and drinking beer and being as far from home as possible for as long as possible, watching dusk settle across the bleached dead kudzu covering the mountainside. As far from home as possible, waiting for nightfall and the faraway hum moving north of the valley somewhere. All that mystery and all that magic. As close to that as possible. Together in shared hours of freedom, all the judges’ eyes rolling skyward across the way. So much innocence for so little kindness for so much love, so much love and so much hate, so much ugliness. In the bowl of those white vines dying, embraced inside that secret place, a secret together, a secretly combined breathing. This was forever but ending and never to be felt again the same way, never spoken aloud. This was forgotten and remembered for all time, in the bowl of those white vines dying.
Sheldon Lee Compton is a short story writer and poet from Eastern Kentucky. His recent work can be found in Unbroken Journal, gobbet, Peach Mag, Live Nude Poems, New World Writing, Gravel, and elsewhere. His fourth book, A True Story: A Novella, can be downloaded for free at his website slcompton.wordpress.com.
* * *
Cover image via Freak Historian