reading

tiptoe

It’s like a tiptoe.

That book we read at night.

In a room that’s dark, but for the glow of a reader, everything’s still and the day’s chores are done. A minute for the brain to shift reality. Then, on cue, characters find their places in the plot, and slowly start up where they left off, with footsteps, stealthy footsteps. And their flaws, and missteps.

They creep along, close to the ground. And stop long enough to peak out, from the shelter of a field that lies quiet, below a sky that hasn’t changed yet, from evening to night. It’s July, and the damp air lingers with the smell of dirt, and vegetation, and tension. They rise up, so they’re almost standing, and stare past the tall stalks, into a clearing. And then stunned and silent, they fall back. Without even time to digest and recalculate their surroundings, they hear words in the distance. Far-off words, words that should be silent and mysterious, hang with invisible clarity in the air overhead, in that place where hope evaporates to sky.