Constellations 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 til 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.


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7 responses to “Constellations by Michelle Elvy

  1. guy

    I read “grandma’s broken chin” at first. “Wow, how is love going to overcome that?” Then i learn more about him and he sounds kind of like an appealing character i know. By the end i just can’t see the star-gazing man with the sun-streaked lines around his eyes doing that.

  2. I was hoping someone would do the single sentence thing (could get mine), and you’ve done it so well. And I have to agree wth Guy, the girl’s fooling herself; this ain’t going to work. Don’t know if you had intented to create an unreliable narrator, but that’s my reading. Excellent stuff.

  3. At first I thought this was a tale of young lovers, but I think no matter what age we are we could love like this. Secondly I love this structure, hopefully I’ll be brave enough to try it. Thanks again for helping with my entry.

  4. Take a long breath before reading it aloud… :)

    What a lovely progression of thought.

  5. Pingback: Week #23 – long lines « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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