The photograph she sends today is a sunrise (or is it setting?). It’s a perfect calendar kind of shot, you know the ones: Long straight fingers of light coming through clouds. The kind of picture that used to be on the cover of those “Have you been saved?” pamphlets and I wonder if people still hand out pamphlets, have revivals, if they still try as hard as they did then. If they still believe they’re converting the world.
We’ve been doing this for two months, trying something new. We text each other a photo every day. No explanations. Just that single picture and whatever the other person sees in it. At first, I tried making the messages a little less subtle: I remember one where I laid out books so that their titles made a sentence. I have no idea what got through.
You know the adage, a picture and however many words it is worth. The problem is, it isn’t necessarily the words that you want to say once you send that photo. You just can’t make someone see your thoughts. Author intent versus reader response.
Today, I place myself in the frame for the first time. I’m wearing the shirt I had on the day we almost met, the one that I had told her to look for. I’m wondering if she’ll remember.
C.C. Russell has published his poetry and prose in such journals as The Meadow, New York Quarterly, The Colorado Review, and Whiskey Island among others. He will be included in Best Microfiction 2020. He lives in Wyoming with a couple of humans and several cats. You can find more of his work at ccrussell.net.