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On sticky, warm summer nights she collects first kisses like fireflies in mayonnaise jars. Peeking around oaks, sneaking behind maples, she darts out to snatch them one at a time from the thick, inky night. Careful not to crush their fragile shells or hers, she wraps them in a loose-fisted grip allowing for air and escape, which they almost always do. Now and again, she wakes with the sun and shakes the glass to see those captured under last night's moon dead in dry grass. Still she braves the unknown, each time her empty jar full of hope seeking only one lasting glow to mirror tomorrow's yolky yellow horizon. Tonight, she bides her time on a bench in open air. Tired of being the hunter, she seals the lid of what seems her fate in darkness when one luciferase dot sparkles with glimmer and a promise that it has the strength to keep its own light alive. Its soft luminescence lands upon her open hand and refuses to fly away.

 

Author's bio:  Beth Morrow is a writer and teacher from Ohio. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and blogs, most currently on the Brevity blog.

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