WHAT BETSY WAS by Bruce Bromley • Cleaver Magazine
For years beyond counting, she lived far under water among the green things, their shine like that light before the storm comes above ground, as if seen through the veins of a new leaf, held close to the eye in a time so distant that its tale must have been whispered in her ear by a voice she no longer recalled how to speak back to. She’d look, in daylight, at the angles of the rocks that jut up from the sand below, whose bottom she was afraid to find. She’d float over the sunken ferns, the stems many-leaved and waving, watch the fish nestling there whom she called her scaly sisters, their shared kin as much a mystery to her as her own name. She thought that the moon, when it came, rose from and hovered a little above the surface of the water. That surface was the sky she knew. She’d see her hair drift ahead of her, the color of a tongue after it’s licked an apple for too long, though apples were things that she forgot, every day, except one.