IF MY BOOK: The Geography of First Kisses, Karin Cecile Davidson

Welcome to another installment of If My Book, the Monkeybicycle feature in which authors compare their recently released books to weird things. This week Karin Cecile Davidson writes about The Geography of First Kisses, her new story collection out from Kallisto Gaia Press.

If Geography were a lie, she would shimmy toward the truth, her intentions unyielding and insistent and not sorry at all, and gaze directly at the path not taken, the tardy bell ringing and ringing.

If Geography were a cup, she would be porcelain, fired at the highest heat to perfection, thin and delicate, her saucer shell pink to her pale gray, fingers searching her curved handle, a jasmine or cambric tea filling her.

If Geography were a sweater, she would be a pullover of bright greens and blues, the thick cotton yarn knitted by the broadest wooden needles, the girl wearing her older now, having stretched the sleeves past her wrists in contemplative thought, her hair once landing against the wide boatneck now long and messy and falling past her shoulders.

If Geography were a Beatles album, she would sing out “All You Need Is Love,” the brass section announcing her, the tempo leading her, the harmony sweet and swinging.

If Geography were a field, she would be covered in tall grasses and the sturdiest of windflowers, the kind that bud after a single rain, their petals shimmering in blinding yellows and golds, spent to seed in a single day, then scattering together and alone, taking off for other fields.

If Geography were a fish, she would be a minnow, glassy-eyed and curious, her body nearly translucent, swimming with friends in the silky green shallows of a Florida lake.

If Geography were a boat, she would sail over southern lakes and down rivers to the Gulf of Mexico, her lines sleek, her sails bright blue, and her journey just as she wishes it, long and nearly unending.

If Geography were a key, she would be small and silver, unlocking only jewelry boxes and young girls’ diaries, ballerinas spinning and handwriting looping inside.

If Geography were a runaway horse, she would gallop beyond the Trail of Tears, only to be seen in the distance, a dark silhouette against the setting sun.

If Geography were a girl, she would search for a way to get into trouble, or she might search for something else entirely.

Karin Cecile Davidson is the author of the novel Sybelia Drive. Her stories have appeared in Five PointsStoryThe Massachusetts ReviewColorado ReviewPassages NorthPost RoadThe Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. Her awards include an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Acacia Fiction Prize, the Waasmode Short Fiction Prize, the Orlando Prize for Short Fiction, a Peter Taylor Fellowship, and residencies at the Fine Arts Work Center, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and The Studios of Key West. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she now lives in Columbus, Ohio. Follow her on Twitter at @karincecile.

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