Strawberries in Milk.

A short writing by Kelsey Elise Canady

Inside, she tried squeezing out as much sleep as possible, leaving the duvet strung out and limp once she finally silenced the wailing of her alarm. She stepped outside to a wall of white. The clouds saying pardon me as they took breaks from clocking hours in the sky. They coated the ground and up passed her head like ghost of sheep on hind legs. In the waiting room she gathered up her thoughts, stuffing the soft cotton tissues lined-with-lotionfor- extra-comfort, into a plastic garbage can the color of a pale peach, to the left of the reception desk. The woman transferred a tight flinch to her lips that was supposed to translate to “I feel for you, “ but came across as a twitch more or less.

Her ears felt like gutted cantaloupes. Now that the seeds were gone there was no fleshy jelly to suck up all the wind. Each blow from the AC made her wince as if the world was cracking and she was the only being who could feel it’s pain. Her pants were the color of peanuts and the texture of pressed vulvas on a rainy day. Lots of soggy lips. She crossed and uncrossed her legs if only to change up the tingly sensation rendering her left one out of commission.

The color drained from her eyes. The cackle she borrowed from her father at the age of seven and never gave back. Stolen. Auctioned off for someone else to wear in their throat. On the floor where she walked a puddle sat beside her to carry her shadow. Too weak to cover the long length of ground it took to let people know she was coming. Or allow the sun to show its pride.

The rains fingers tickled her cheeks for a good fifteen minutes before she arrived home soaking wet. The muted orange terra-cotta tiles absorbed the clacks of her stacked heels, shouting that she was home.