It’s an agitated tickle, a spastic frisson over simple sunlight in its irrepressible chorus of high C and the lush green fronds of tangled July wild through a fence and the wise, parental Maple trees raising all of Brooklyn and the downy triangle ears of strangers’ Pomeranians I can touch in Prospect Park, and it throbs my trigeminal vein with such giddiness that I can’t sleep! Sometimes it’s excitement over the likelihood my dreams will be irradiated with the great halo of Helios and trails of his incarnadine magic hour cape that will then lift at the corner, unveiling memory’s private love letters. I’ll stay up all night in anticipation, for Santa is coming, and on the next lurid haze of a morning I’ll stumble over my ankles and the knobby stumps in the park all the way into a silver tequila night, a dopamine rescue trip that postpones the migraine migrating inland, rescuing the way pure spirits rescue, giving everyone wings, so that instead of calendars strapped to our backs with appointments for Dowager’s humps we are now little girls at the Renaissance faire in August zooming towards the Maypole. Eventually won’t I run out of zoom? Eventually, I will outrun the blank momentum of the tenacious past that had gripped me by the wrists using as its lever my lost love—the one who lost my stainless steel I.D. bracelet I got in first grade, engraved with the faces of a cat and a dog, the lost love whose pisiform bone matched my own—he finally begins losing his shiny, black hair and he’s reduced to the realistic size distance should make him unless he’s a firefly, which he is no longer. The fireflies always land on the top of my hand when I reach out with longing intent too primitive for language; that is how I know he lacks luciferase. One can decide what is tiresome and tuck it in the plain, white guest room bed with the selfsame hand. It is harder to contain the sun, which is all will and decision and nerve, no matter how many brands of room-darkening shades one buys online after meticulously inspecting reviews. I, too, cannot be contained. Observe the speed of my light.

There was a time when I couldn’t accept the finite dimensions of the summer I spent letting my hair frizz in the hot vapor of late night Florida just to hear him annotate my memorized observations in a gazebo by the seaweedy bayou, but that time of non-acceptance was also finite. Now it is bound up with the box of letters under my bed that were written—written in his pointed script, the T’s and I’s imperious and towering, poised to impale my tender thumb–written in his own obsessive, sleepless fever. These letters, too, long to be lit. I am always so close, even if they don’t see me.


STACY ROLLINS is a writer, visual artist, singer, Rennie, and fitness enthusiast who lives in Park Slope’s historic district in Brooklyn, NY. Her first complete sentence – spoken at nine months of age – was, “I’ll get you.” It has served as a guiding principle ever since. She earned her M.A. in Creative Writing at FSU and has authored two books, Truer Faults and Learning to Read. Her other crowning achievements include designing her own religion, “Stanism,” while in law school, and also dropping out of law school. Her work has appeared in Atticus Review, Everyday Genius, Diversion Press, Black Heart Magazine, Crack the Spine, Poetry Quarterly, New York Dreaming, Garbanzo, Nailed Magazine, Spine, Shantih, The Oleander Review, and Rat’s Ass Review.