May in Four Parts

Part I

There’s this river that runs by my home. It’s one of those rivers with a Dutch name that people try to pronounce in English. The name doesn’t really work. Right on the side we live on, there’s a windy road that takes us into town. The road is slick, as it runs against the river’s jogging trail; there’s nothing along the road at which to stop, so people speed down. I’ll glance across the river in the dark and see the silhouettes of trees. 

Part II

The house is right outside of the “hot” real estate area, the new hip area where everyone is buying because it’s currently the only affordable place. The new developments lack the creaky floorboards and rotting drywall that characterize and define the historical part of town. Right on top is a deck with views of the towns far away enough that I can get a good panorama for social media. 

Part III

There’s a parking lot by the huge warehouse in the neighborhood no one really talks about. Each part of the warehouse is rented by a different store or office. The car we sit in is surprisingly neat, given what I have been trained to expect from others’ cars. I get a skeptical look. I know how to carry myself, and I shut the door, not looking back. 

Part IV

Here is the only coffee store for miles around. The sun shines on our un-sunscreened backs and legs. There’s an empty cup of coffee in a disposable, waxy paper cup to the side, one computer propped on the table, and a piece of paper under my hand. The picnic table creaks as we both ask unanswerable questions. 

By Amelia Dogan

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