The Thousandth Grain
Rand breathes in deeply and lets his chest fall in on itself. His eyes are caught by the corners and angles of the room—the cracked baseboards, the bay windows across from the bed. It’s raining and late October, but he finds himself sweating. He kicks off the covers—skin prickling, nipples erect—and crosses to the other side of the room to look out. The ocean is in view. Gray waves sluggishly crash against the sand, and there stands his husband, Aaron. He is shirtless, wading in the shallows. The wind has tousled his hair. The water is wetting his trousers. Rand worries for a moment, placing his hands against the chilled glass, but Aaron makes no move. He is stationary, static. The waves beat against his knees, and try as they might, they do not bring him to submersion. Rand—shirtless, too—places his fingers against the skin of his waist to warm them, and draws upward until he finds himself cupping his breasts. They feel foreign, obtrusive. It’s the day of the doctor’s visit—the one in which he hopes to be prescribed hormones—and his period has made a mess of the bed sheets. He decides to wash them before getting dressed. As Rand wraps the sheets up in his arms he looks back out at Aaron. He sees that his husband is grasping wildly at the passing waves, the water slipping through his fingers. Rand does not watch for long.
Korbin Jones graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with degrees in writing/publishing and in Spanish, and is currently pursuing his MFA in Poetry at the University of Kansas. He has had poems, short stories, and personal essays appear in various literary magazines across the nation. His translation of Pablo Luque Pinilla's
poetry collection "SFO" from Tolsun Books was published April 2019. He works as editor-in-chief and head designer for Fearsome Critters: A Millennial Arts Journal.