The Phenomenon of Heat Lightning

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Art by Sofia Miller

Listen, I have a question for you. A couple millennia ago, I was driving down a goldenrod-dimmed country road on a darkening night like any other. The only perfume on night’s charred neck was the heat lightning, raking across the sky like a spiked drink. And I’m not saying that there was magic in the air because that word is stained by tar taboo, sticky fingerprints smeared all over it. Yet you know how much I love a bit of magic. Whatever it was, the air was the deep blue of a lotus flame. It wove a cocoon of soft rose tendrils into my curls, a shade of the dye neglected in my bathroom cabinet. The girl in the passenger seat was steaming, steeped in tones of strawberry blonde, her breath the curling smoke from a rouged kettle. But soon she disappeared. When the melody of a space song hooked its legs over the curve of my ear and hung there, the most talented of trapeze artists, gravity had long ceased its hold. But you kept yours. It's been wound around my shoulders since the night we rolled all the windows down as our teeth chattered and you stared from the rearview mirror. You've been stealing glances ever since.

Listen, I’ve never been one for meditation because we both know my limbs are not blessed with stillness. And yet my ghosts seem to have flitted out the window, mingling with flashes of moonlight until I could not tell the difference. You and your shovel eyes were the first to depart and for once I did not call you back. The rest ran with you, dancing our endless dance. And I was left with my mirrored skin as lighting’s twisted fingers waved through the windshield. I could not tell if it was a greeting or a farewell. Tongues of lightning illuminated the clouds, weaving our tale of regret and seduction in plum stained ink that sang of mistakes. I besought them, “Come in. Spark my heart and electrify my blood. Lace my body with your refracting light and frame it on your brow.” Maybe that invitation is my answer.

Listen darling, Time is not linear. I’m not saying that it stopped for me, I'm but a spark in this long line of flame. In fact, I have always been Time’s biggest cheerleader, seeking my next sun-whorled adventure. But I will allude that Time took the long way that night. It dallied, languishing between the yellow lines on the asphalt. It gave me what I yearned from its tattered grace: an answer.

Is it worth it to risk being struck if you behold all that your eyes crave for? Even if it's just for a moment?

#questions #risk #storm

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