By: Oli Ray

It’s not January. It just isn’t. The leaves are green and dance together in hoards above my head, almost mocking me in their togetherness as I shrink into my loneliness.

I miss her, I do. The loops beneath her b’s remind me of the crooked smiles we shared skipping along the sidewalk and tripping over its cracks. The slant to the left puts me back to when I leaned against her shoulder, finding comfort in its warmth, the sound of her heart beneath cotton clothes and soft skin stretched across a delicate frame making me wonder what paradise could be when this moment existed in the world.

The note she left for me sits so calmly in my hand as the summer breeze sends chills down my spine in a way so different from the winter winds I took for granted. The laughter of eating ice cream despite the temperature dropping was as curved as her l’s. The empty branches chattering are her weirdo f’s that I still don’t understand. The shivers of cold weather and leaning a bit too closely are forever etched within her k’s and I don’t think she knew the way her y’s dipped and curved were the way she made me feel. Her t’s taste like mint and strawberries, and when they’re next to her i’s I can almost feel her lips upon mine again. The softness of her skin compared to the round of her h’s and I wonder if summer has taken away her taste, or if strawberries and mint are as comforting in the middle of August.

The way she walked had the saunter of her lower case ‘a’ though I can’t find relief in their capitals because that is how she walked away, the only piece of her left for me a small scrap of paper in my hand. 

“I wish I still remembered how it felt back in January,” were the words she left for me. How would eleven words ever be enough for a lifetime of time without her? Would I be enough if I’d managed twelve more?

She wishes she could feel the happiness of our January but I find I wish I didn’t. Because it’s not January, and without her, it won’t ever be January again.