A Raft of Words

by Andrew Bertaina


I don’t intend for you to read everything I’ve written about you, or of reeds of grass swaying in blued evening air. Nor the reflection of clouds lying still on bodies of water, nor hummingbirds dipping beaks to honeysuckle like monks in cassocks, bent in prayer. Nor the spray of sunlight, attenuated by clouds, on a field of gorse, meadow foam, horses in a light lather, nor purple blooming wisteria threading fingers in stone as it crowns the castle, nor the low rumble of an impending summer’s rain.

But on some quiet night, far out in the country, in the life you’ve chosen away from me, after the children and your husband have slipped into dreams, I want you to read this small tangle of words that I’ve woven together to carry you across the distance that has grown up between us.



Andrew Bertaina’s short story collection One Person Away From You (2021) won the Moon City Press Fiction Award (2020).  His work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Witness Magazine, Redivider, Orion, and The Best American Poetry and notable at Best American Essays 2020. He has an MFA from American University in Washington, DC.


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