by Chloe N. Clark

There’s a story there
somewhere. In the story
my coffee spills across a
table. In the story I’m
watching my phone ring
on the table, vibrations
that set off the nerves
in my leg.
In the story I’m using
napkins to clean away
the loss, coffee making
the paper curl away from me.
In the story, I’m thinking
about my brother.
My brother as he was
leaving, I’ll write he said, I’ll write back I
said, he left.
My brother wrote that he hated
the sound the most, it
was the sound of the world
caving in. He saw a girl
once, drenched in dust, and
he thought that she wasn’t
an angel or a spirit or anything
but what she was. A girl.
In the story, I’m about to
throw away the napkin, soaked,
sodden, no longer what it was, and
I’m thinking that a phone call
made me an only child.
There’s a story there somewhere,
a man tells me once, when he
notices the way I never clean
up spilled coffee until it’s already
had a chance
to stain.