Danielle A. Durkin

"You know," Matthew said to John, "I'm sick of this. You are never going to teach me how to be careless. I'm not built that way." Matthew put his hand on the railing, making a weight with his palm that wouldn't fit into his words. Grip this, he thought to himself. Smell this sea air. Splinter your fingers here. As if some how that would make his sentence true. Knuckles whiter, the skin on his hands chapped.

Matthew pulled on the ferry railing to give gravity to his mouth, what it would tell John, what John should pick up and take away when the boat landed; otherwise, there was only wind and salt that whipped the sincerity away, which would ruin the reason for this last ferry ride together.

It has to end here, Matthew told himself. But the sincere light in John's green eyes, the way he chewed his bottom lip and pushed the glasses up on his nose, made all these attempts at balance evaporate like wave foam. I can't help it, Matthew thought. He makes me float to the surface.

First published: February, 2003
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