by Natalie R. Quilesmy hometown feels too small to hold me, but it’s the only place I can bear to exist in this mourning.
where can I store my love for you? It is sitting behind my eyelids and threatens to burst over the trembling ledge of my lower lashes.
I keep finding you in the birds, or in the shade of marigold that is my favorite t-shirt. I see your smile in the sun bouncing off this car hood. In the way this cabinet closes shut slowly, snugly, softly.
where do I put my love for you? no one tells you this. we do the best we can, storing them in old cans and cracked mugs, crumpling our loving and our missing in gum wrappers and shoving them into our pockets. To contain is to control, but
my love for you is a handful of wasps that refuse to be contained. my love for you buzzes and stings, seeks the sweetness of spilled soda, craves the bright heat of the afternoon sun.
maybe I only know how to love as a yellow, angry thing. maybe I can only love you as an other, as a flying this.
come, meet me in the sky.
Featured in our October 2022 issue, "Haunted"