614p, 26th february, 2021. hope.

a photo of me with my unwashed, tearstained face, in front of a wall with a laser-cut rising sun sculpture, a photo of me as “Rosie (the Riveter) Revisited” by my husband in 2002, and an exhortation to “cheer up honey pie” .
there is no filter on this photo.

I am driving and I am listening to the President and I am crying
I am crying and I am crying and I am crying and they are huge ugly tears
“A dose of hope”, he says and the tears flood down my face “a dose of hope” he says

Hope is something that I never ever had.
It was never even on the list of things to look for.
Hope was for the foolish and the losers and the suckers.
the idea of hope was as painful as the reality of unrequited love, a crush that goes nowhere, being ghosted by someone you really, really thought you liked.
Hope was not for me, not ever.

but maybe,
maybe now it is.
maybe I can have some for myself, just a little.
I’m not asking for much.
Just a little.

Hope.
The taste of it, the texture.
rolls around in my mouth, between my fingers.
hope.

I draw my hand back, my heart back sharply from the edge of this hope
too sharp, this edge, too unknown.

My chest tightens, my jaws clench, my fingernails dig into my palms.
breath shallows, and hitches as my eyes darken, kohl smudging my cheeks.

“Guess what!” the President says, excitement clear and bright through the speakers
“We landed a rover on Mars!”

hope.

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