“Take Your Boots off Before the Storm”

It hadn’t been on course for us, but when Rem got excited, I got excited, and then it hit. That was, and has been, the course of events. Rem, of green eyes that calm seizures, has pooled my river. I sensed things but didn’t know urgency like Rem. The best way to explain was together; ever since the night she yelled my name. I’m still not sure how she’d known my name. “You know me,” she’d said.

So I believed her and moved in with her and then the storm came. She bought batteries. I bought beer. She bought candles. I bought saltines. When branches blew through our windows and waves crested the porch, even snakes swam to us for help and we gave it to them in what tupperware we still had; I saw a squirrel give up and swirl under for good, its black eyes gazing up to admire the rush of clouds one last time. We went inside, up to our bedroom, and barricaded the door with piles of unbounded books. We cradled one another and entwined; I lost mixtapes of hours then days, and she made hit records on a juice harp stuck inside of me. But I could feel something at work on me and in me: a stitching, massaging, gluing, and sometimes it almost hurt but most of the time it felt good and it felt like her, but, like I said, I’m not sure what I’m remembering right.

Then there was no more to be done, so when I came to, and saw her eyes again, those green eyes, waiting, I got up with her and we walked outside and even picking plastic grocery bags out of our tree was the best thing in the world.

About Peyton Burgess

Peyton Burgess lives in New Orleans where he teaches creative writing and composition at Loyola University and Delgado Community College. His short story collection The Fry Pans Aren't Sufficing will be published by Lavender Ink this summer. He received his MFA from New York University. You can find him here.