T. L. Sherwood
The Eye of Florence
My feet were warmed by sand, then reddened from the sun. You drove into town for Noxzema, offered to apply it. I nearly said yes to that which I found sensual and you a duty.
Chelsea was getting married. It made sense to stay together during her destination wedding though we couldn’t manage it in New York. We rented a bungalow, had to share a bath, kitchenette, another weekend of our lives.
We mingled with our daughter’s friends, Jason’s relatives, a gamut of disparate groups clumped together near the dunes. At the rehearsal dinner, I maintained my hunger. You, as far as I could discern, hadn’t changed one whit.
We posed for family photos, danced, wept.
The newlyweds flew out, a mandatory evacuation looming. In separate bedrooms, we packed, readying for the airport in the morning. I came to the kitchen, opened the window above the sink, inhaled. Your figure, a ghost in the glass, drew near. You cupped your hand around my elbow, something familiar yet foreign. A long quiet chord of longing stirred at my side, made me nervous for wanting that which I no longer sought.
Caught in a wiry static haze, I swayed. To the left, my phone. I could search for an earlier flight. On the right, your arms, your scent, established rhythms in bed…
I turned on the TV.
The eye of Florence glared blue on radar, the calm in the approaching monster. It decorated itself with wind, growled in the bacchanal ocean. My skin rippled in waves of gooseflesh at the tempest in our midst. I drew in my lower lip, prepared myself as best I could for everything rushing toward me.
T. L. Sherwood
Among other places, T. L. Sherwood’s work has appeared in New World Writing, Jellyfish Review, Elm Leaves Journal, Page & Spine, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. She lives in Springville, New York near Eighteen Mile Creek and is currently working on a novel. https://tlsherwood.com