Becoming Fireflies (Kirsten Reneau)

I want you to make me a promise that after we say our final goodbyes and our time together has begun to go dark around the edges of your memory, you will start committing petty crimes. Bike in the wrong lane and flip off the cars that honk at you. Jaywalk at every opportunity. Steal Chapstick every time you go to a Wal-Mart or Winn Dixie or any other chain store life might take you.

I have come to terms with that fact that forever isn’t meant for us, not in this lifetime. It’s no one’s fault. We are a set of perpendicular lines, meant to meet and then continue on our own different paths.  But I have a theory: I believe if we become small-time criminals for the next fifty years, reincarnation may see it fit to return to this world as bugs. And if we commit just the right amount of tiny injustices, we will become fireflies at the exact same time.

What are two weeks to a firefly? A lifetime.

And what can be held in any lifetime?

There will be no fear of the future because there will be no future. No waiting. No maybes. No somedays. I believe if we do this, our bodies will hold onto the muscle memory of how we slept holding hands, in moments that felt they could become our own, personal eternities.


Kirsten Reneau is working on her MFA in creative nonfiction at the University of New Orleans. Her work has previously appeared in Hobart, Trampset, The Threepenny Review, and others. She’s online at or on twitter: @Reneauglow.


image: Meagan Johanson