I follow Leander’s tears like pebbles, each one a ripple
spreading away from the shore where we splashed away inhibitions.
When the waters still, silence fills the space with the heaviness of absent things.
I am afraid to look down at the sea, to see myself reflected.
A whimper in the calm, a whisper of my name, and I stretch out my hand
to break the surface. The weeping comes from below, too deep to touch.
Sometimes the gods give us a sign to hold onto.
Sometimes we are left with our guilt,
cleaving to it like a talisman.
Contributor’s Notes: Valya Dudycz Lupescu is a writer and the founding editor of Conclave: A Journal of Character. Her novel. The Silence of Trees (Wolfsword Press, 2010) was selected as a Semifinalist in the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and since being published (both in print and ebook), has been a Kindle Bestseller, breaking into the Top 100. Valya holds an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has taught at several Chicago-area universities. Valya is a member of the SCBWI and the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA). Valya teaches workshops around the city and online, and she facilitates a monthly gathering of writers and artists called the Chicago Creative Coop.