They say—when the atmosphere is just right—there is a green flash the moment the sun touches the horizon. There are photographs to prove it, and stories from pilots, though we've yet to see it for ourselves.
The summer we turned 17, we stood on a beach, unflinching, unblinking, staring at the remnant of a sunset until mosquitoes bit our arms and we could hear—across the darkness—people laughing at the dive bar.
We had waited and waited for that moment when the light separated from itself, only to see nothing we hadn’t already seen.
On the bus ride home, pressed against one another, your hand in mine, we heard the driver whistling, and watched as a child fell asleep against her father. I tasted the sea on my lips, and you shared a handful of quarters with the boy behind us.
We spent our brightest days still hunting down the flash, starving for something brilliant we could claim and make our own, so hungry we'd have gladly stepped on a sparrow to prove our devotion to Sisyphus.
Then we grew old, taking stock of our lives under half-lit skies.
You smiled first, and I followed.
The idea, caught in my throat, flashed across your face, saying something like this: the miraculous had shown up, my love, disguised like the ordinary, under skin like yours and held up by bones like mine, and it continued to show up each morning in color and light.
- Claire Carey Deering