Sherri H Levine – Footbridge

Footbridge

 _

        It was a hot and sticky summer when you called shortly after you left her. You spoke to me as if no time had passed, though it had been years. Over breakfast at the diner, you passed photographs of your son and called her a bitch. She criticized you about your job, your weight, your debt. You told me that she never touched you in the right places, that she just lay there lifeless while you were on top of her. You told her even a prostitute could do better.

  As we walked along the footbridge that night, you reached for my hand. You were so large that I barely reached your chest.

I’m afraid I could jump,” you said gripping the railings.

I didn’t know you were that depressed,” I said.

No, it’s my OCD. It’s okay. This is exposure therapy,” you said staring blankly at the water.

But you’re a psychologist,” I said.

I remember when you used to deliver pizzas, how I tagged along with you to porn shops so you could put nickels in machines in the back. You told me you loved me, but I didn’t, not in that way. Besides, I could never give you a child. When I told you I was going to marry, you said it would never work out.

As we continued to walk along the footbridge, I put my arm in yours.

Just like my mom and I used to do,” you said.

And then, the unthinkable happened: the moon, the Super moon appeared in the horizon. It was big and bright and orange. It was the largest moon I had ever seen. We stood there watching it slowly fade to a pale pink sliver, dropping into the stillness of the river.

_

Sherri H. Levine is from Albany, New York and has lived in Portland for almost 20 years. She loves Oregon, but she misses the beautiful autumn season. She holds a BA in Poetry and an MA in English Literature. She teaches English-as-a-Second Language at Portland State University and Willamette University. She is enamored with the flash fiction genre because it feels like it is a perfect fit for her as a poet.  

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