UES 62

Here, she said, and when she took the branch from me I could smell her perfume in the eddying wind. Reaching up she was just able to graze the edge of the scarf. Its fringe hung tantalizingly. Jump, I suggested.

Her scarf got caught, I told him. He didn’t move or speak. I gave her a little shrug. Well, I said. There you go.

Here we are, she replied, smiling. Those crooked teeth. Unsure what else to say I turned to go. George Washington and I walked together down the slope. The whole way back to the subway I could feel her standing there behind us, watching us from the middle of the driveway. ---

She looked at me with those eyes and laughed again and her laugh drew back a curtain. I laughed too, suddenly able to see that the whole situation was the silliest thing in the world. I can’t believe it, she said— and then, waving the stick above her head, she jumped, catching the scarf on the end of the branch at last.

ABOVE US, CAUGHT IN THE BRANCHES OF A TREE LIKE A MANIFESTATION OF SUNLIGHT ITSELF, WAS A GOLDEN SCARF.

Rachel Lyon’s short stories have appeared in Joyland, Iowa Review, and Saint Ann’s Review, among other publications. She attended Princeton and Indiana University, where she was fiction editor of Indiana Review. She currently teaches fiction at Sackett Street Writers Workshop, Catapult, Slice, and elsewhere, and is a cofounder and cohost of the reading series Ditmas Lit. Visit Rachel at RachelLyon.work *

I yelled an inadvertent cry of victory and she yelled too and we both laughed again, hard, standing there together hundreds of feet above the world. Suddenly self-conscious, I pushed up my glasses and turned to see George Washington Morales in his backpack and baggy scribbled jeans, standing at the bottom of the slope, watching us.

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