He spilled things: tiny gold necklaces into shag carpet, wine coolers over a plate of snickerdoodles, letters out the edges of the high school yearbook. The first surprise spit of snow in October felt like him, and I threw six chipped coffee cups into the shallow lake and watched them swallow the mud. He was late if we called it a date–two hours became two days. I chased the full moon with a camera that could have exposed so much so slowly that starlight alone could provide all the light the world needed, but I lost both camera and moon. The mall lost its anchor and held too long to its Christmas tree. My aunt hung Victorian postcards on her kitchen walls–a rabbit pulling Santa’s sleigh, an owl in a dress, a grasshopper larger than children. She rearranged them often and said she could fit them into frames from the dollar store because one can never stray far from the spot where a secret was born. Stickers I pulled from fruit that rattled in the fridge drawers–apple, orange, apple, apple, lime–stuck well to the white spaces of the local Times. I set a glass of water on the table for him and waited.
Katie Berger holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and currently lives in Nebraska, where she works in public relations at Northeast Community College. She is the author of Time Travel: Theory and Practice and Swans, both from Dancing Girl Press. Other works have appeared in Cherry Tree, Sugared Water, FootHill, and others.