We tell the children not to look up, expecting a miracle. During dismissal,

a coworker asks if the moon is supposed to affect her like this—

to change the way she sleeps with her husband and she expects me

to have the answers, like I keep them in my palms. The moon moves

and turns the sun into the shape of a fetus. In another life, we walked

in rooms without statues, and the world was filled with mothers

pouring themselves into the streets—the only way pavement, cracked

with stretching green, can comfort a woman. And in that life, we needed

cigarettes and questions about war and jazz and maybe even the boys

from our long-lost hometowns. Because maybe answers aren’t needed.

Because nothing is different, and we never look at the sky anyway.

Ryan Skaryd holds an MFA from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where he currently lives and teaches. His work has appeared in After the Pause, The DUM DUM Zine, Blue River Review, and elsewhere.

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