Above: Johanna standing on rocks of the coast of Malmö facing the Oresund Sound. Further to her left, beyond the camera, is the skyline of Copenhagen.
The Oresund Sound glows violet in the 6 o’clock light. The sun has already dipped behind the Copenhagen cityscape across the water, and now a dome of pastel orange, pink, and blue arches over the inky skyline. Dusk attens the distant buildings but endows heaven and earth with a Monet touch.
The sky reminds me of the lollipops my grandmother used to buy me at The Catsh House, an old-school diner in Springeld, TN. That was back in 1999, before Covid, before the housing crash, before the war in Iraq, before my sister was born. The Catsh house was full of browns and fake leather. The lollipops were the only spots of color. Just like the sky and the Oresund Sound, each morphed from violet to pink to orange to blue. And they were tangy, like sweet tarts candy on a stick.
The Oresund Sound must taste like those lollipops. I want to drink it. Bathe in it. I don’t believe it’s deep. I believe I could step out from the lichen-covered rocks that ring our tiny island on the coast of Sweden and only sink to my ankles. I might splash my way to Copenhagen, stopping every few minutes to cup my hands and gush down violet sugar water till my belly was round like the moon. My skin would sparkle with the water’s sheen as I oated round and round in the curling, silver peaks of the waves. I would meld with the sky as the stars came out.
Johanna Burr is an MFA graduate student specializing in creative writing at Iowa State University. She also works as a part-time professor teaching English Composition. Her poems and essays can be found in the OWL (Ohio Wesleyan Literary Journal).