Fiction · 07/08/2020

Attachment

Arise fever-sweated, epiphanic. I think of Harlow’s monkey. The delicate fingers clinging to the towel, believing in the impossibility that this piece of fabric is a mother. We study attachment theory. The secure attachment. The insecure attachment. The pushing away and the pulling together. The uncomfortable blending into one without accounting for error. With code, there is source control. Cloning. Push. Pull. Merge. How, if you make one change to a version of the code from even ten years before, the changes can propagate, branching up and out through to the latest version. Snaking forward into now.

Now.

Remember this tarry wool sweater, a scratch against my cheek. Remember this birdsong, curious and green. Remember this bat flapping in the night room, one soul peeled off. Remember this owl sailing through the woods on an overcast day, an angel. Remember this need without end.

I’ve not lost the heft of your hand on my back. Already a grouping of muscle and bone. A non-hand. This fabric. This wound.

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Myfanwy Collins has published one novel, Echolocation, a collection of short fiction, I Am Holding Your Hand, and a young adult novel, The Book of Laney. For more information, please visit: myfanwycollins.com.