Fiction · 06/17/2020

Before a Little Bit More

I talk to Haruki Murakami at the culvert by the bridge over Stickler’s Creek. Usually. It’s around the corner from where that 18-year-old got hit and killed, the one who dated her art teacher after graduation. I tell him how far I’ve run, and he says, Careful, always stop at the point where you think you could run a little more. That way, you have more energy for the next time.

People have seen things. I ask if he’s heard the girl. He says, Don’t listen to people, listen to the trees. I ask why I can talk to him sometimes, and not others. Not all things are meant to be known, he says. I’m going to go home and write, I say. He says, Stop when there is still more to be said.

I go home, sit on my couch, inhale the steam from my tea, stare at a blank screen, at a Sakai Hoitsu print, Cranes. The three white birds stand against a brown backdrop. I think of how little they know. How they know enough.


Michelle Morouse’s work has appeared recently in Wigleaf, Peregrine, Lullwater Review, Passager, The MacGuffin, Pembroke Magazine, and Passages North. She is a Detroit area pediatrician and she serves on the board of Detroit Working Writers.