Ashley Seitz Kramer

A Cup of Salt Consumes the Sea

I want this line to be long the way sleep is long because the guy I love
is missing from his body. He can't find himself without leaving his body which he keeps
forgetting. Even he is forced to confess and come back to the beginning
like this. And the man at the gym who fell on his elbow wants the line to be long enough
for his aching because his aching is complex and now his knee feels funny too. His wife is dead.
He was unprepared for all the leftovers. It's obvious he doesn't trust the line now, what it promises
and how it surprises even the most prepared among us. I thought I was dreaming
when seven racks of clothes toppled onto a man at the department store waiting patiently
for his daughter. She unburied him: a dusty jewel, a pumpkin-colored sweater.
Sometimes I need to fill up the whole room with my own voice knowing there's no room left
for my body, or other bodies, or my cat and the knots in her body. I need to speak
and speak and hope I can hear a clue that wasn't there before. I mean, where am I really?
What do I want? What can I trust if I can't trust the very line that requires me?
It's easier to wear red, to park at the far end of a dark lot, to pretend it's a wheat field
and the wheat is at my shoulders, to believe the line could follow me—even this far.