Where the Sky Ends

I walked home tonight in the thinnest coat I've worn all year, just a layer of cotton between me and the cold. It's been a long winter, gray skies and icy streets, the promise of spring fainter by the day. When I got home, I sat on my stoop for the longest time, head on the highest step and staring at the starless sky. The sky is so round from that angle, like the top of a snow globe, like if I reached far enough I could touch where the sky ends, hand smudging the glass.

There's a special kind of lonely when you're never alone, a layer between you and anything you touch. Sometimes I wish we could break open our brains and see each other's dreams, our pain and our joy and the ways we try so hard. I wonder if we'd love each other more or if we wouldn't need love at all.

It was cold for nearly April, bare branches and snow still in piles, but there was whiskey in my blood and one layer was enough. Head back, eyes open, I looked through my snow globe at the inky, empty sky. As my eyes adjusted to the dark, a single star appeared, a pinpoint in the black, and then another, and then a hundred one by one until the sky was full of lights, shining like glitter against the glass.