Into Something Different

by Jackie Lutzke

It says Baby On Board in that car window, in black on a yellow diamond, a yellow diamond saying something like a white diamond says something like diamonds get a say. You gave me a diamond once in London while we were curled up on a bench in the shadow of Trafalgar’s massive bronze lions, but I couldn’t care about them because my feet hurt. I said that my feet hurt, and that mattered so we sat on a bench in the square and you must have made a wish while you fished in your backpack for the worn velvet box and words, and words slid out and you slid great grandma’s ring over my knuckle and we slid forward into something different. And that ring was like glasses, like getting glasses in 5th grade that I felt so much at first because of the pads pressing against my nose and the way everything was framed in but my God I could actually see, and when I looked up, the clouds had edges. And the trees had branches and the leaves weren’t actually homogenous green blobs but shades of light and dark green together, and some dead brown, and even something in between green and dead, something trying or maybe not trying to change. Later I stopped feeling the glasses but somehow I was still seeing everything; I still got to keep the leaves. I don’t feel the ring anymore—some days I don’t feel anything—but then I wash and dry my hands and the ring gets snagged on the bathroom towel and I remember that I have to pay attention to hand towels now. And so I flip my palms down and dry my hands more carefully.

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