The Festival of One Hundred White Doves

Shelby Tuthill


Sophia biked through the twilight and into the break of day
just so I could find her at the festival of one hundred white doves.
Through the part of town without streetlights. Through the part of town
made entirely of brick.

There were children with kites. Embroidered keychains. Cashmere
tank tops. There was Sophia, touching the ceramics,
looking up at the white doves. We found a spot
in the bleachers.

From the row behind, Sophia’s mother whispered something
about me, no doubt. How I should buy her daughter the green bowl.
How I should hold her hand. I knew I should hold her hand,
and I wanted to.

Wanting is not always enough.
I’m sure you know.

We were at the festival of white doves when I finally stirred
with love. Sophia’s parents left with the car. It was the longest walk home with her,
and it smelled of cinnamon and sunset. Looked like rosy peaches. Felt like
coming up for air.

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Shelby’s two favourite writing forms are the sestina and the memoir. You can follow her visual adventures @shelby.di.

PoetryJeremy Bibaud