My brother, whom I’ve never known how to write about, comes over for breakfast. I’ve made
lemon scones for the first time from their component parts. He sits the length of a body
from me in the yard, while I measure what’s not there in his face. The new shadows or the beard
make him look less like our father, who crawls into our small talk and out of our mouths
shimmering with sugar. The blood of burst blueberries cuts new veins in our hands.
That the scones are delicious feels like the best I can do. Our father walked in on Sundays
hands curled into fists around the throats of brown bags, oil-flecked and heavy with pastries.
The scones crumbled with a stroke. From there, naturally, we talk of the roses Dad hacked to bits
in the garden, they were red—or no, white. Our mother’s mouth was a seam. We have stopped
telling stories. Instead, we speak as if explaining our memories to a stranger, how to explain
once meant to unfold, as buds explain into leaves.
Lena Crown is a writer from Northern California, though she spent many years in St. Louis and still thinks of it as home. Her work is published or forthcoming in Sonora Review, The Offing, The North American Review, Porter House Review, and JMWW, among others. She is currently stationed outside Washington, D.C., pursuing an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Find her on Twitter at @which_is_to_say.
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