Pass the salt. Say grace at the dinner table. Say this could be something.
We eat quietly by the window under sunbeams, listening to the music of a
songbird’s serenade. I can’t remember the last time we had a meal like this, together
and yet still so alone. If you could speak to me for the first time, what would you
Do you want to light the candles? I ask, and you shake your head. They’re just
there for decoration. Of course they are.
The food is stale. Still, I eat because you have made it. This cooking, though
unappetizing, is one of the purest forms of love. I will not turn it into one of shame.
When we finish, I notice the chipped edge of your plate. Even in this silence
we share it screams, I am here. I am lived in. A smile spreads across my lips, thin and
wry. Today has been good to us.
With a foot of twilight between us we set out for the beach, hand in hand;
Our last evening together. Lay down the picnic blanket—then the hand–woven
basket you bought from the art museum.
People like us will always live, even when the light of the galaxy goes out. In
anything we are everything, wilting roses drying out in the summer heat. This
sunburn is our catharsis. You ask me what I’m talking about.
Not everything has to mean something. Sometimes these are just moments,
simple leisures. The world is a little brighter because of it. We sit and watch the
remnants of the day dissolve. I turn to you and I say,
Let me live this day again before it fades between stars.
Cadriel Huynh (he/they) is a transgender and queer writer from Vietnam. His work has been featured in several magazines, such as RECESSES, Juste Literary, White Cressets Arts Journal and Metachrosis Literary. He can be found on Twitter @cardboardcheese.