pages Is This How We Live?

by Kristy Watson-Ables

Published in Issue No. 262 ~ March, 2019

I hear the water first.

Weaving through the woods, molecules in the millions, connected and splitting, crisscrossing currents.

Water toward which my soul always wanders, and I wonder the questions elicited by currents running through my mind, slipping through my fingers: what is weight, worth, and meaning?

Rush, the sounds are louder as my feet crunch over a blanket of leaves, mini-lives of the trees, the sacrifice of a new season. I peer through barren branches, skeletons stripped but still standing. Are they cold in the absence of their clothes? Do they still believe?

The belief I clung to in my youth, staring at the silver silhouette of the moon, whispered words to the one out there. Do you care? Does anyone really hear?

I unpacked the words I’d been taught to believe. Left them strewn behind me, my own fallen leaves. But is the abandonment of what you were taught actually a fresh start?

Stop, at the clearing where the branches part. The river stretches before and behind, crystal clear. I part the water with my fingers. Fail to stall the flow.

I free my feet. Bend my toes into the bank. Soak bare soles in the water, watch the ripples run around my ankles and carry tiny molecules of me toward the distance. I wonder if this is how we live, bare-skinned, broken and believing, dispersing remnants – sediment of the soul – out into the world, as we dare to let go.  



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Kristy Watson-Ables is a graduate of Goddard College's MFA in Creative Writing. Her work has been published by Open Minds Quarterly, The Mighty, and Platform for Prose. She lives in Ohio and enjoys wandering walks, cuddling her cats, and large cups of coffee.