Evening in Autumn at the Movies
The year when the fall arrived hot, the cold wet palm
of my left hand gathered the twill
on his jeans-ed knee in the black movie theater.
Fingers as farmers gathered the loose fabric and
collected cotton in slow motion as the film waned.
Mirrored emotions from cells on a screen reflected
the shattering turmoil of so much feeling I felt inside.
Dried tears were a fermented stain after the movie
ended, and we held hands in the sunrise of raising
lights. I once was as disinterested and isolated
as a Dungeness crab, moss gathered on my shell
as I waited with patience. Until one sweaty autumn
day, I was collected and cured, placed in a folding
seat, and moved with emotions so loud I worried
they would burst with piercing cries out of my chest.
Instead, we sat in silence and spoke to one another
through threaded fingers as the end credits rolled.
A fish detective
at a diner, the underwater
air fresh blue
speaking to a trout waitress
with a lace bonnet.
And they will fall in love, maybe,
if NBC doesn’t cancel the cartoon first:
before he can even solve a crime,
before he can rest within the tenderness.
Roe unborn in their bodies, a swimming
garnish–toast of trouts.
And once when I was a child, Timmy
convinced me that lifeguards knew
how to breathe underwater–
a small selection of people
who could travel to the bottom
of bodies of water and who spend time
with this forgotten fish detective.
The show was canceled.
And only the water breathers
know if the detective managed to solve
a single crime.
Jane-Rebecca Cannarella (she/her) is a writer and editor living in Philadelphia. She is the editor of HOOT Review and Meow Meow Pow Pow Lit, and a former genre editor at Lunch Ticket. Jane-Rebecca is the author of Better Bones and Marrow, both published by Thirty West Publishing House, The Guessing Game published by BA Press, Thirst and Frost from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, A Practical Almanac for Surviving Inside the Human Body from Bottlecap Press, Collections From a Shipwreck published by Alien Buddha Press, and Eleven-Hundred forthcoming from Really Serious Literature.