Heather Rounds


You’d started smoking again and your hands smelled like dirty coins, so I turned up the music as we kept going under the pigeon-gray, the bridges, between shredded billboards and then an electric blue balloon in the air, curling in someone’s wrong direction. I could have said Come on, realize, but sometimes even we aren’t enough to understand our smallness. I could have said Look. If I had known to look myself—at brief wisps in the car mirrors, at kaleidoscopes passing Greenmount Cemetery, at all that gray around a balloon, at how lucky we were to have thought we were bigger. Then the light went red and the balloon was gone like a moan tucked into a hole. On the corner, the autistic boy waited for a bus and he inched his fingers toward something alive and a beauty peeked through that you scolded me for seeing— the warm slits of his eyes and mouth had no idea either, but this was how he wired us. The approaching bus jerked us all in new directions. We all went further. We all continued.

Heather Rounds is a Baltimore-based writer, curator and artist, previously published or forthcoming in PANK, Baltimore Review, Poet Lore, 2 River Review, Marco Polo Quarterly, Karamu and others. She received an MFA in writing and design from University of Baltimore in 2007.

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