It was the future
But I remember
It was that time we held hands
Fingers interlocked like a zipper
or the mouth of a flytrap
I once folded a map
at an awkward angle
I punched a hole that went straight through our towns.
I crawled through my end of the hole.
You crawled through yours.
This was the first time I saw you.
He met her in adulthood
But she met him in a dream
They were young
No older than fourteen.
And he walked her to the nurse
The brown kind.
Retinas could reflect the image of rotating ceiling fans
if they were only brave enough to look.
---the woman said, “I don’t believe in miles. I believe in smiles.”
---He laughed. “How’s that?”
---“As long as we smile at the same time, we are in the same place.”
Four is the most structurally sound number.
A square has four sides
Cars have four wheels.
They drove four times across an unsteady bridge.
A.J. Ortega is a writer from Texas. His writing has appeared in Rat's Ass Review, Poetry Quarterly, Rio Grande Review, Door is a Jar Magazine, American Book Review, Dreich Magazine, The Loch Raven Review, and others. He is an active member of the Popular Culture Association, where his presentations focus on combat sports and Mexican American identity. A.J. produces and hosts Writers and Fighters: A Podcast.