Unfinished things / by Christina Rosalie


Elana Herzog
I’ve been finding fragments of my heart lately, tossed among the hair pins and pennies by the washer; lint too, purple from the red shirts and blue towels that seem to endlessly make their way through the wash. So this is a life.

Certain things are never done. The wash for one; the spoons in the sink are always there again, and the bowls; the small hands that need scrubbing; the ripe things waiting for harvest in the garden, some silent and round under the dirt, or fat and humming with wasps, sides split open in the late summer sun.

These are days when the light is amber and still. The grasshoppers are huge, springing into the hedgerows as we run by. Their legs are always bent, poised again and again for the small prayer of almost-flight; temporary, dizzying, before they land again among brambles and gravel.

This. This life. It feels so small, so incredibly small and so enormous all at once.

Walking about the house gathering toys in the quiet that comes after small boys finally sleep and the dishwasher runs, I wonder if this can be enough for anyone? If anything is ever enough, if any heart beats regularly with contentment; or if to be alive always means to crave, to lunge, and long and push. We have our hearts after all, full of muscles that never sleep, and chambers secret even to us.

I put a wide mouthed jar of zinnias on the windowsill; follow the hawk with my eyes as I run. Its body is gold and white in the sun, circling against the blue. It is only there, present in the sky. Eyes like arrows, bones hollow, feathers tilting and lifting its small handful of life into the wind.