March 11, 2010 by The Citron Review
by Sarah Long
These fern-like weeds grow along the roads. “Watch this,” you say, bending down over a plant. The touch of your fingertip sets it recoiling, stunned–a fun, jungle trick you picked up somewhere along your way.
The plant’s name translates to sleepyhead, or late riser, as if there’s whimsy in self-preservation, the instinctual drive to shut out body heat.
“We mean you no harm, little plant,” I want to say. And I find myself wanting to tell you the same, all the time, but you’re quicker.
“If you get the chance to live in New York,” you tell me, “you should do it.” But you don’t live in New York. You and I could go there together, but we’re not talking about that. You’re urging me to move there with someone else, the boy you can’t hear about, the boy I recoil against if it gets too hot.
The further I am, the less you have to fold in on yourself. I find it strange, my leaves always opening, always waiting for the harmless touch.
Sarah Long cofounded the online literary journal Two Hawks Quarterly with some other writing chums from the BA program at Antioch University-Los Angeles, where she is currently completing her MFA in Fiction and Poetry. She has just begun working in earnest on her first novel, which she can only describe at present as a story about divorce and dogs. Writing about herself in the 3rd person makes her uncomfortable, but it seemed suitable for this purpose. Some other bits of her writing can be found at Slant Tales.