phantom 

kiana flores

Before me stood a garnet, arched bridge. Accents of gold were slathered atop the posts. Flowing water journeyed underneath the deck, providing life to the moss that set up camp by half sunken rocks. Standing near the railing, I let my hair loose to ride the wind. Curls began to tickle my shoulders. I shut my eyes in an effort to learn the stream’s language. It spoke in swift strides, winding ways, and cherished chants. Joining our company were cedar trees, hydrangeas and soil that invaded my nose. Even sun rays arrived to the gathering, as they mined my skin in an effort to bury vitamin D within me. Melodious bells chimed in the distance. Nature’s embrace had been dismissed. A passerby nodded their head toward me and pedaled away. I managed to squeeze in a hand gesture as a salutation, but it looked more like a kite giving up on its aerial capabilities before it could taste the skies.

Bursts of rushing water beckoned me to redirect my gaze. A silhouette figure stared at me, imitating my exact movements. I conducted a playful interaction with it while the shifting clouds knitted patches of pink into the sky. Next to me appeared a mother duck and her five ducklings. She stared at me for a moment, then leaped into the water. Her band of synchronized swimmers followed suit. Streaks of dew slid down my cheek. As I watched the family tour their surroundings, I couldn’t help but wonder… “Will I get to be like you, too?”

Originally from The Bronx, Kiana Flores is an undergrad at SUNY Albany who studies English and Creative Writing. She enjoys poetry, a good cup of tea, and birdwatching. Her notepad is full of ideas ranging from fictional stories to playful doodles.