Alignment by Nathan Alling Long

They lived in the same neighborhood, biked the same streets, went to potlucks at the same collective houses. What they remember of summer nights is drinking beer on front porches as joints floated through the air like fireflies, kissing each person’s lips. Talking of Rilke and Descartes until dawn. Walking home in the rain.

Then autumn came. They pulled out old gray sweaters from their closets. They biked with coats and scarves. Evenings became large bottles of wine and steaming kitchens. Fresh bread from the oven. Everyone sitting on the floor, mismatched plates in their laps, the house dog circling the crowd like a shark, looking for scraps.

One night, near solstice, a few stayed up, improvising an epic poem in rhyme. One by one, they fell asleep, on the sofa, curled up on the rug, against each others’ bodies. The candles burned out, the night grew dark.

Then the moon snuck in. It brushed across three faces, the way a moth might glide past your arm. Each woke to the light, and without a word, they began to kiss one another. They had never seen each other in this light before. They kissed and kissed, as the moon trailed across their faces. It was like drinking milk from a distant planet.

Then their portion of the room drew dark, they grew tired, and, with fingers interlocked, they fell asleep. Later, when the moonlight slid across the dog’s tail, it awoke and sighed, then fell back asleep.


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Filed under Nathan Alling Long

12 responses to “Alignment by Nathan Alling Long

  1. Some stunning writing here, the images, the style.

  2. How much life is in these few words! You paint a wonderful picture of a community, and o what a moon!

  3. Beautiful story that felt like a short epic.

  4. len kuntz

    very poetic. loved the imagery, too.

  5. Michelle

    I really admire the simplicity of the title here contrasted with all the complexities in this story. Wonderful writing here, Nathan. Hope to read more of your work.

  6. John Riley

    Imaginatively written. Like the milk from a distant planet.

  7. This has a fairy tale quality to it.

  8. Such poetic description setting up a short but dreamlike moment in time. Very nice indeed.

  9. beautiful and compelling. “It was like drinking milk from a distant planet.” is wondrous.

  10. wonderful and mystical. pure poetry, the imagery haunts. hope to see more of your work. peace…

  11. A love prose/poetry feeling, and lyrically velvety. I hope to read you elsewhere!

  12. Pingback: Week #52 – Threesome | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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