Hattie Jean Hayes


Voices muddied by a screen door, the memory
of music: you send me photos from the front porch. You’re reading.

For fourteen months I’ve known exactly where to find you. It’s April, and it’s October. It’s spring, and it’s
September. You are down a road I’ve walked before. You smell like grass.

Where I am, it’s raining. I’m in the soup aisle at the grocery store. My heart slams against my ribs like a baseball every time you say you really need to go. They never have what I’m looking for here. You really need to go.

The last time I climbed a tree, you were one hundred feet away, but you didn’t watch. You didn’t know I was there. When I want to, I erase myself. I slip behind the world, and wait for someone to find me. I like hearing you search.  You call my name.

Me, the most beautiful girl in an empty room, freckles on my shoulders from firework fallout, singed by the heat of your voice on the air. You, the gold watch I could never trade away, freckles bare like honesty across your body, skin recommitting. You say you like my back.

You send me photos from the overlook. We’ve fantasized about this place. It’s sunrise. I am clutching your name in my fist. You tell me to leave it, and everything we stole from our lives.

Hattie Jean Hayes                            

Hattie Jean Hayes is a writer and comedian, originally from Missouri, who now lives in New York. You can find her at hattiehayes.com