by Michelle Elvy
You call up and say you’re sorry and I know you are ’cause I am too but I’ve rehearsed this in my head a hundred times, how I’ll tell you that it won’t work, that our tempers are too alike, that two Leos can’t co-habitate, that you breaking my grandma’s china was the last straw — but I don’t even convince myself because your voice makes all that space between us contract suddenly and cold turns to warm and I am back in the first night we stayed up till dawn when you pointed out the constellations you knew (only two) and then some you made up and then you named the freckles across my shoulders after the stars and told me that from then on whenever you see Cassiopeia or Orion or Lorna Doon in the night sky you also see the sharp line of my right shoulder blade and I’m thinking of that and not at all about my grandma’s broken china when the doorbell rings and there you are, standing in front of me with those sun-streaked lines around your eyes, asking me to take in the stars with you tonight, as if it’s as simple as going to a movie, and I drop the phone and say yes, because it is that simple, and there’s something in your smile that makes the material things not matter nearly so much as the stars in heaven.
Michelle Elvy is a writer and editor based in New Zealand. She edits at Blue Five Notebook and Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction. More about Michelle's professional life here: michelleelvy.com. Along with reading and writing, Michelle spends time bobbing about oceans on her sailboat, her home for over ten years, naming constellations and making up a few, too.