7.19.2014 Journal Prompt

Photo by David Hamilton
Photo by David Hamilton

July 19, 2014: Listen.

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5 thoughts on “7.19.2014 Journal Prompt

  1. Lindsay

    She can hear pins when they drop to the floor, or whispers from across the busy street, or hearts beating in the near dark – especially the hearts, she says. Lays one hand against my tittie, like we could be lovers, and she asks me if I hear it. It is my heart she is talking of then and I don’t hear, not a single beat of it, not the way she hears. And she laughs and she kisses me so soft that I’m not sure that I didn’t just imagine her kissing.

    ‘See?’ she says. ‘Beating quicker as a beaten drum now, or fast as a train that races over the tracks and it clatters with such a thunder that it frightens birds in its path.’

    Still, I can’t hear a thing and she laughs again and she gets up from the bed and she dances across the room and she’s singing a song that I think I know. I tell her I hear her singing and I hear the shuffle of her bare feet on the floor and the shush shush of her dress against her skin as she dances.

    ‘Do you hear that?’ she says. ‘Or that, or that?’

    She is standing still now and not singing any more and I wonder if it is her breath that she wants me to hear, so I say maybe it is that, a little rushing and snatched.

    ‘Buttons!’ she says, and she’s unfastened three of the buttons on her dress and it’s the sound of the unfastening that she wants me to have heard. ‘Listen,’ she says.

    And I do. Listening as hard as doing calculations in school and looking into the dark hard, too, and I see another button on her dress is undone and her titties showing, but as for hearing, it is like all sound is turned off.

    Then on tip-toe stepping feet she comes back to where I am and she makes the shape of my name with her lips, just the shape. Smaller than whisper ever is and not even breath. And she leans in close and kisses me again, different from before, kissing this time like she means it and like I can’t doubt that it’s happening. I make a noise and it comes from someplace inside of me, deep as caves or tunnels, the sound of the sea soughing or a single flower opening – that’s what she says and she says it is the most beautiful sound in the whole world and, ‘Don’t you hear that, at least?’ she says.

    Her hand is on my tittie again and I am a little breathless from the kissing and a little dizzy, too. And the bed sags under her weight and mine and there’s the noise of the springs shifting – I hear that.

    And after, when the dark is beginning to lift, and my heart, she says, is running a little softer than before, and the weight of her hand on me says she is sleepy and I am sleepy, too, and I ask her then. In whispers that I scarcely hear myself, I ask her if we are lovers now and I am a little frightened waiting for her answer.

    Everything still as a held breath and for the longest time so that I think she is sleeping. Then she laughs once more and she says, ‘Little bird, all you need to do is listen.’

  2. Karen

    He was a tall man with a propensity for sweet sandesh and using the back of his hand when he became angry. Anika was promised to marry him at fifteen. He considered himself generous and all a bride could want. Anika only wanted to go to school.

    He took her to the coast for their honeymoon. She considered running away. They walked the sands, he in his thoughts, she awash in her fears. Her husband wanted children soon. Anika was a child. When she found a large seashell, she held it to her breast and smiled. He frowned and said that it wasn’t really the ocean inside

    She blinked hard in his wake, contemplating. He walked on and ignored her youthful desire for belief. Anika held the shell to her ear and closed her eyes. For a moment she thought she heard the mad rush of water and held her breath.

    Rose red lips parted in disappointment as she realized it was only the sound of unfulfilled dreams echoing back at her.

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