June 21, 2020 by The Citron Review
by Sarah Cedeño
/rəˈtərn/ v. 1. Having dreamt of her husband again, after so long, almost chronically lying beside him: his neck and its delicate silver cross resting in the soft pocket between clavicles. The taste of blood: as when feeling chain links around her tongue, between her teeth, watching the healthy pulse beneath his ear. 2. Stepping over a puddle toward him, and, after the ice has melted, finding her worn leather boots are enough—and safe, just the little bit of muck that seeps in at the toe making her heels desirous with fire. Or even accepting the warmth of a favorite sweater on which her clumsy fingers have sewn a patch. 3. Relief: as when she’s sitting in her garage, numb like cotton with the engine on, tempted to close the door, but fixating instead on his efficient piles of screwdrivers and years of accumulated wood. Her sons’ skateboards, too, wasting under the workbench, scolding her. 4. Remembering: almost stepping into a forest of timid branches/diseased bramble, but instead, collapsing into their bed, her only destination, staring off at an older version of herself. And her husband, carrying her lovingly. Tenderly, like a burden.
Sarah Cedeño’s work has appeared in The Journal, 2 Bridges, The Pinch, The Baltimore Review, New World Writing, The Rumpus, Hippocampus Magazine, Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. Sarah holds an MFA from Goddard College. She lives in Brockport, NY with her husband and two sons, and teaches writing at the College at Brockport.
I love the dreamlike quality of this – where the images and sensations seem to solidify from the ethereal fog and fade/melt into the next.