Awaiting August (Preface)
And so it begins. Deep in the winter, a bright fire.
Awaiting August, it’s like I’ve woken from a hundred-year-long springtime sickness. Late winter and spring have never been easy for me— days’ worth of steel skies, cold winds sweeping flat fields of cracked, brittle cornstalks, brass puddles in the field behind my yard, last summer’s crushed, damp weeds stamped into the mud. Once, I went to sleep with you in December, thinking I would wake the next day to a winter as long and as freezing as all the rest have been. When I opened my eyes, it was May. Winter must have come, mustn’t it have? Standing in your kitchen and sleeping in your bed passed the cold season away. You open your window, and after a few hours, it starts to smell like summer— thick and green and wet, the foliage in front of my eyes awaiting August alongside me. I must have fallen back asleep after the birds stopped singing at dawn. I did not know where you had gone, but I knew you’d be back soon. The river rocks await to be under water, under our feet, while we stand small in the long, thin, open vein of night sky carved out by running water. August now, I wake and turn my head 90 degrees to wholly face you; your crescent moon face asleep next to me on the pillow. Silence in one of my ears, cicadas chirping in the other. We lay close in the tall grass every night to rub our faces together and hold one another. August drags and runs at the same time, fleeting like dusk into night.
Awaiting August (Epilogue)
A couple mornings later, we wake, and all you wanted to do was lay in bed late into the morning instead of making breakfast; unusual for you. Your face lay right-side down on the pillow like a crescent moon, tired and pulling me back towards you. We kiss each other goodnight at 9:00 in the morning and fall back asleep for another 45 minutes.
Later, at the turn of afternoon to evening, I hug you, and together, we wish that life could always be like this.