* * *
Close your eyes
Close your eyes and you can see it all, she said.
She took my hand in hers: warm, dry, sure. She led my fingers up her arm, around her elbow. My body’s a landscape, she said.
She laid out a map of her life that night. That vein there: a long road down the back of her sun-freckled knee, slightly bumpy since the birth of her child. My fingers skipped up one smooth arm as she told of an easy childhood and laughed at the memories of tree-forts and tea-parties and the time she flew at seven, all alone, to visit her grandma in Tennessee. I navigated a gravel road up the other arm: teen years, cruel and rough, hard to describe but easy to imagine. A scar through the right eyebrow: daddy’s mark. Butterfly kisses on my palm from long lashes she got from her gentle mum. Further down the road, valleys gave way to mountains, and mountains proved worth climbing. I nestled into the pond scent of her belly, mossy and cool.
Close your eyes and you can see it all, she said. And I did.