by Billy Thrasher
You were five when you got out of bed at 2 a.m. and padded into the kitchen, as I wrote about
cold dark days on my laptop, at the lamp-lit table taken from a Wendy’s restaurant. You wanted
to sleep with me and asked if I remembered when you would get out of bed, walk into the living room, lay on the couch next to me as I slept. I thought maybe you were too young to reminisce,
but maybe that was evidence you were growing up, wanting to store the memory. I hope you
do. My vivid memories began during kindergarten, and you’re starting school two weeks from
now. More memories will come. Keep them. I closed the laptop, that’s when you said you
wished your mom and I would get back together. You sat on the edge of the couch
like a soft gold nightlight that glimmered in the dark. Quiet. We lay down. My left arm
outstretched under the pillow, the other on my side. You cupped next to me wearing your gold
play dress. It was warm next to you, too warm for the quilt. Almost asleep. Were you? A long
time, maybe an hour, then you got up and said you wanted to sleep in your bed. You kissed my
cheek, we said good-night together, you said good-night once more, kissed my cheek again.
A feather is not that soft. You padded the floor to your room, shut the door, gold light shimmered from below into the hallway then darkness. Silence. I was cold and reached for the quilt.