Day

They say that Day is a beautiful woman with olive skin and long brown hair. They say she wears robes made of sunset and a crown of sunrise. During the day, after revealing the sun, she touches each individual bud to make them bloom and brushes the hair out of children’s eyes to wake them up. During the night she lies in a field of wildflowers and lilies and looks up at the sky and counts the stars.

You’re currently at 315 because you keep losing track and have to start over.

Your field is a picture of orange and green and purple and white and, while you’re here, it’s always cold. When you walk in at sunset your dress brushes over the tops of flowers that bow and ¬†close as you pass, then open up again when the fabric is gone. Once you reach the center you reach up and catch the sun as it falls into your hand, shrinking to the size of a marble. Sometimes, when you tuck the sun into your sleeve for the night you see Night’s dark blue cloak off in the distance as they throw up the moon. Then Night disappears and you lay down for the night to count the stars. Here there is never any dew, never any light or rain. There’s just colors and the night sky. It’s peaceful. Quiet.

In reality you don’t do much. In the mornings the herald of day glides over the field with his gauzy cloth of morning light calling out that morning is coming, morning is coming. You tear your eyes away from the sky and push yourself up. Then you reach into your sleeve, take out the sun, and throw it into the sky. As it rises it grows and you watch it for as long as you can until you know you have to leave the field. Sometimes on your way out you brush past Night. They never look at you but they sparkle with starlight.

You’re not a beautiful woman, not really. This body with olive skin and round eyes is your favorite but you always change your shape. During the day you travel to obscure towns and large cities and mountains and lavender fields. People have long since stopped recognizing you, but that lets you smile easily and laugh with boys in college you meet in drugstores and return dropped stuffed bunnies to little girls in pink skirts. You find humans fascinating. They’re always changing, but somehow they’re still the same.

Eventually the day ends and you hear the voice of the herald of night ringing out like tinkling bells. You return to the field where the flowers bow down and catch the sun as it falls. You watch Night’s back as they leave the field. Then you lie down and relax, cold nipping at your face and wide eyes. You can see your breath tonight.

463