He looked at her and he asked: are you dreaming still? She closed her eyes and her hair burst into flames, sending shimmering golden sparks across the wooden floor of their tiny one-bedroom apartment. And his eyes were blue and they were pouring out water that could not quench her or drown her but hold her only, curving around her small smoldering shape. She looked in and in and into him and said, finally: yes, I think I am. And the day drained out of their tiny space and then there were no walls and then they were just fire and water standing together in a field of sunflowers. In the yellow field, the two wove entwined until they were one elemental rope, fire and water holding hands, arms against arms, mouths against mouths. And then they were steam – two bodies become one cloud. Recombined, they felt their atoms grating together as they floated up over a thousand wavering yellow suns, relishing that delicious atomic friction and he looked at her and he looked at her and he was water again, crying back to the earth, where she collected him in small galvanized buckets knowing the answer to the question he could never ask was: always, always.


Mary Cafferty enjoys the sound of typewriter keys. Her work has appeared in Borderline, as well as Westfield State University’s literary journal Persona, and has been presented at Sigma Tau Delta’s annual international conference.

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