Issue Thirty-One - Winter 2018

Freckles

By Jane Rebecca Cannarella

The cinnamon freckles that are dusted on my body are identical to the ones on the bodies of my sometimes former, sometimes current, nighttime, kind-of-friends. [I wouldn’t go as far as to call the speckled procession, ‘lovers’]. When our bodies combined, the specks were capable of soaking up twice the amount of vitamin D — especially in dark rooms.

Ephelides awoke in the sunshine. But stormy weather would wash away the little stains, and the outer patch of my skin would become weary during overcast days. Once the summertime came, I would seek out other individual freckles – looking for myself in the soil of other people’s skin.

Human freckles often yielded varying results.
***
James and I once matched the freckles on our shoulders while sitting on a bedbug bed in South Philly. We compared the variants in the patterns of our brown splotches, his less dark and visible. They looked like shadowed designs in old lace curtains.

Our spots were little twin blueprints that we touched together, matching each other’s skin on a mattress dotted with the black blood from vampire pests.

So many tessellations in one room.

In the morning his freckled arm bumped up against my freckled arm. A maroon spot was alive on his bicep and it crawled from him on to me. Its flat body decided to lie on top of a mole on my forearm. Distinctly not an ephelis.

I left that morning. I never went back.
***
But not every textured stranger stayed a brief splotchy visitor. And sometimes I could see the shapes of what I was pursuing in the silhouettes of a scattered body – a human equivalent of a Magic Eye poster.

I’d hold the autostereogram-person to my face, eyes blurred, and when we slowly pulled away from one another I could see the meaning in their patterns.
***
My face is covered in reddish freckles that start brown and turn into the color of chestnuts. They are almost everywhere, nose – cheeks – forehead – ears – arms – legs – chest. But Robert had freckles in coiled compositions that I didn’t share. Russet dimples that pinpointed individual places that I’d explore with my fingertips and the tips of my pointed incisors. I would have liked to swallow up each auburn serration.

I wanted the same circles of peppery hail that curved with his facial expressions, the ones that would twist his emotions into precious astral planes. Seas of cosmos decorated a universe of feelings.

Each point of rust tasted like metal to my lunar mouth.

Maybe I wanted the particles of his melanin to live inside me, somewhere near my always hungry stomach. They’d fall through my lips and down my throat, polka-dotting my epiglottis and coasting along my insides like that 7-Up game from my childhood. They’d collect in spiced arrangements in the slick film of my insides. My heart covered in spots. And in that moment we would be shared human freckles, absorbing sunlight despite grey days.

Copyright 2018 Cannarella

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