I was texting you from the other room, little sentences on life, when your idea of wildness gave me an idea for a new approach to drowning. I built it in the garage.
I took it to the beach and waited. A man there introduced me to a woman expert at feeling for imperfections in the greatest inventions–the discomfort in holding
anything to your ear for instance. She was intelligent and beautiful in a way you might consider alien ships to be beautiful because you make them up out of the clear blue sky, you make them undetectable to our military. Intelligent in the way a simple task takes your breath away: a fishtail braid, laces in a boot, water from a kettle, when books are stacked just so, making you want to read them cover to cover to make them alive.
But she admitted to me she doubted her work, that every flaw is in fact a perfection, every act intentional or not should be left untouched. She packed up her things and walked away, the ocean roiling in its canyon. That’s when you texted me again, sending small images: a kiss, a present with a bow, a lifeboat. I buried my idea in the sand and headed home, everyone waving from the water.
Jeffrey Hermann‘s work has appeared in Palette Poetry, Pank Magazine, Juked, The Shore, and other publications. He received a Pushcart nomination in 2018 from Juked Magazine.