by Katrina Denza

We sat under the broken umbrella, its flowered fabric hanging limp on one side. The rain fell softly at the edges of our backs. I kissed his hand, the one without fingers (not a casualty of his job, only of birth). My lips pressed what I couldn't say into his hand, invisible ink. The palm was marbled pink and tan, lines etched on it like a geometry lesson. I would not be here the next time he came home from work, the smell of the rubber plant burned into his pores, not yet scrubbed away. I'd be fifteen states over, my body nearly weightless in the dry desert air, eager for the gloom to burn off in the persistent sun. He would think my running was because of his hand, its imperfection, and I knew I'd never get him to understand that it was the most perfect thing about him.