Kristina Marie Darling and John Gallaher

The Chapter on Gardening

For the first time, there was nothing strange about the landscape. We just sat there with our coffee, wondering where all the iced-over trees had gone. You seemed relieved that there was only silence, and not a single dead tulip left in the yard.

I tried and tried to feel comfortable in the house, with its carefully arranged silverware, that immaculate lawn. Always the windows and at night, the hydrangea. Days passed and still you just kept talking about where to place the ivy.

It wasn’t long before an entire winter had been buried in that odd foliage. By then I could hardly picture the splintered glass, the thistle plants.

When I looked at you, I realized you were thinking about something else entirely—

JG and KMD were born in Portland and Tulsa. Their collaborations appear in OmniVerse, Requited, diode, and elsewhere. They currently live and write in rural Missouri while also taking frequent trips on the bullet train from Paris to Agen.