It’s easy to imagine in Appalachia—the summer brushes in like a blade of grass between my lips, tasting just as sharp as it is sweet. I mistake a banana peel in the road for a black snake. The crushed bud light for a pool of water. I dive deep into the rhododendron plumes of baby shoe pink and visceral violet explosions. I’m running again, past the nettle and maypoles. Running faster yet down the fresh dirt from the ridge line, the scent of June just above the Poplars, the sunshine just above everything else. I think about a snow globe and how mine would be filled with kudzu castles, swirled by gardenia petals. I fear the petals dropping. I fear silent summer nights too cold for peepers. I fear the sound and the settling. There are other early summer causalities; I gently collect fossilized butterflies from the driveway and place them in the basket on the front of my bike. We pedal hard into mouth of the wind fighting for a proper send-off, get-gone, last flight away from here. The butters fly into the pages of my favorite books, wings pressed wide in imagined flight. I think about how I don’t have a thing of his but somehow his energy is in my house. I imagine it different. I imagine I can’t remember him. I imagine me somewhere else. I buy a ticket to Ireland and I run.

Katherine Dolan