THE LIGHT ABOVE by Judson Simmons It was summer. I can’t remember the name of the town we’d just passed through but I can picture the old man sitting behind the counter at Texaco – his face a wrinkled five dollar bill. He held your hundred-dollar bill to the light above, scrutinized between falsehood and belief, then slid it into the antique register… As the sun dipped lower, forgetting we still followed, I asked myself: Will there ever be a chance you’ll forget the weeks before? We’re in a car heading towards a lodge in the mountains, to release from our shoulders the stress of all that needs to be forgotten – to put behind us the week I sat in a hospital room: shoestrings and belt stowed in a cabinet far away, given smoke breaks and craft time instead. The road is night, we stitch ourselves into the earth’s knitting—intertwine ourselves inside the tight thread of a cat’s cradle. You kept your eyes on the road but slowed to a stop as several deer and doe crossed ahead – innocent of us until our headlights painted their eyes priceless jewels. They paused, then shattered like glass in all directions.