between us, kitchen sink to roof and eye, and between us salt cellar, pepper pot, and between us those holes of remembering, when you say and I say and all that's said is said and nothing at all.
- Kepler, you mumble.
- It's first two, you murmur.
- Earth-sized, you slip and giggle.
- Planets, I whisper, and in the salt cellar something stirs and sneezes, as when a long forgetfulness lifts, and the kitchen sink eyes the roof, which lets go hundreds of helical waveguides.
later, aeons away and you are grey and I am wispy, the scent of pulp and paper passes our fingers. Later, all the planets sit in the sink and the roof has fallen, there is no pepper, and the salt is piled.
- A fasting, you cry.
- Heart? I forget to say.
- Rate also, you crumble.
- Tends, I believe, but do not wait. And when I stand you stand, and when we sit we sit. Kepler, from his perch, watches but does not interfere. Here we are, we wave. But we do not move. The waving is all inside. Just our eyelashes know the truth.
About the Author: Tania Hershman is the author of two story collections: My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions (Tangent Books, 2012), a collection of 56 very short fictions, and The White Road and Other Stories (Salt, 2008; commended, 2009 Orange Award for New Writers). Tania's short stories and poetry are published or forthcoming in, among others, Five Dials, Stinging Fly, Tears in the Fence, PANK magazine, Smokelong Quarterly, the London Magazine, and New Scientist, and on BBC Radio. She is writer-in-residence in Bristol University's Science Faculty and editor of The Short Review, the online journal spotlighting short story collections and their authors. Tania teaches regularly for the Arvon Foundation and gives workshops on short stories, flash fiction and science-inspired fiction. www.taniahershman.com
Image: Kepler's Mysterium Cosmographicum