She Prays to St. Dymphna

by Grey Johnson

In the atrium that morning, she knew he was in love with her because all the leaves, living and dead, were waving at her and singing her name like a little lullaby. Tonight, while his embrace is still a closed room of voyeuristic stars, she will tell him that she knows, to make it easier for him to admit. However, she will keep secret the desire she has to make love to his wife, and to possibly kidnap their child, until she knows he has more confidence in her. He takes her to hear a performance of Verdi’s Requiem, during which a host of angels soar from the bow tips of the string section to stage a stampede in her chest. The experience makes her certain that time and distance can never part them, especially afterward, when her mouth is laden with dessert. Eventually though, pleading with his feet only encouraged them to carefully back away, and years later, when she wakes, she finds the corpse of a lover she has built from down pillows beside her, having forgotten every kiss they ever shared.


Grey Johnson lives in a quiet town in the Southeast, near cotton, tobacco, soybean, or corn - depending on the season. She likes to play cards and laugh. (It's easier for her to just play cards.)