Bridget Bell

Gold in the remaining space

between the window frame and the shy-of-completely-drawn drapeó

a shaft of sunlight and his squinting face.

Invisible dust juggled itself, visible in the light.

He ran his fingers through it as he did my hair.

The presence of his hand propelled the particles to new trajectories.

He told me dust is dead skin cells, loose follicles, shed pieces of ourselves

all spinning like little globes on brass rods. He told me

You donít need to be afraid after I began to cry.

And later when he called my name, said, shhhh, come to the window,

I ran tip-toed to be beside him. Two young elk picked through the rocky dirt,

unaware of their voyeurs, until one of us made a silent noise only the animals could hear.

Startled, they froze but didnít run because they had learned to trust

humans, gambled that we would not hurt them,

would not bury a bullet into their velvet, vulnerable sides.

Bridget Bell is an Ohio-born writer living and working in New York City. She studied French and Journalism at Ohio University and got her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in The New Ohio Review, Folio, The Blood Orange Review, Gargoyle, The Pedestal Magazine, and decomP among other literary magazines. She works as an assistant editor at Four Way Books.

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