My mother said that Uncle Fred had a purple heart, the right side of his body blown off in Italy in World War II, and I saw reddish blue figs dropping from the hole in his chest, the violet litter of the jacaranda, heard the sentence buckle, unbuckle like a belt before opening the way a feed sack opens all at once when the string is pulled in just the right place: the water in the corn pot boils, someone is slapped, and summer rain splatters as you go out to slop the hogs. We drove home over the Potomac while the lights spread their tails across the water, comets leaving comments on a blackboard sky like the powdered sugar medieval physicians blew into patients' eyes to cure their blindness. At dusk, fish rise, their new moons etching the water like Venn diagrams for Robert's Rules of Order surfaced at last, and I would like to make a motion, move to amend: point of information, point of order. I move to amend the amendment and want to call the question, table the discussion, bed some roses, and roof the exclamation of the Great Blue heron sliding overhead, its feet following flight the way a period haunts a sentence: she said that on the mountain where they grew up, there were two kinds of cherries—red heart and black heart—both of them sweet.
From Tryst by Angie Estes. Copyright © 2009 by Angie Estes. Used by permission of Oberlin College Press. All rights reserved.