Alight in Tall Grass
Someone raps against my window. The room is dark. I sit up and peer through the blinds. You stand on the veranda under the security light wearing last night's clothes and a pair of sunglasses that you won't need for hours.
I unbolt the door.
"I couldn't sleep," you say.
"Me either." I touch your sleeve. Your clothes are damp. Stay. That's what I want to say. But I don't. I am too delighted by the sight of you; too in love with this strange, temporary world we inhabit.
"There's something you have to see. Bring the camera."
The sun is a glowing pink smudge on the horizon.
I dress and follow you. We leave by the main gate and walk west, through pastureland and into the woods. I've stopped asking "see what?" or "why?" We both understand the ground rules: The only thing worth pursuing is magic.
You lope beside me in that easy way you have. Sometimes you walk backwards, your mouth turned up at the corners. You want me to ask where we're going. I know you won't say.
When we get close, you cover my eyes with your fingers and guide me over the rutted ground. Finally you stop and take your hands away.
We stand at the edge of a wide clearing. White butterflies have settled over the field like mist over a valley. Wordless, you wade ahead of me through the damp, hip high grass. A dozen yards in, you remove your jacket and spread it on the ground. We lay on top of it in the deep grass, our feet pointed in opposite directions, our heads side by side. We lay perfectly still. Butterflies land all around us. Some even on our faces and in our hair.
"How?" I whisper.
"Storm in the Gulf pushed them north. They won't stay."
I ease my camera out of its case. The sun is still low in the sky, turning the field dusky green and charcoal. The insects' wings catch the light. Little hairs on my skin stand on end. I know, sighting through the viewfinder, that I'm capturing it all, that years from now I'll visit these images to remember the stillness, the wet earth smell, the feeling of you beside me in the grass.
Lisa Glasgow lives and writes in Texas. Fascinated by what we remember, what we forget, and why, she searches for story fragments among old photographs, diary entries, margin notes in books, and the ultimate story hatchery, abandoned buildings. Lisa holds an MA in Comparative Literature. She received The Writers Hotel Sara Patton Fiction Stipend, and an excerpt from her novel-in-progress won the Writers League of Texas YA Manuscript Contest.