Chris Heavener

So fast she crochets. Bed covers fall from her needle like water, doilies like snowflakes. Yarn unspools from the basket at her feet in an angry blur. I worry her hollow plastic needle will melt. I worry the friction burns on her hands will get infected.
I told her an ex of mine gave me a half-finished scarf that looked more like a fishing net weaved by a desert island castaway. She won't stand for empty gestures.
Her creations are a random mix of whatever she forages from the scrap bin at JoAnne's. Anarchic sequences and patterns, like Technicolor TV static.
I go to speak and she fires off a scarf that coils around my face. We need to talk, I say, but it gets muffled and I'm pretty sure she doesn't hear me. I go for a pencil to write it down on some stationary, but she materializes a pair of cartoonish mittens onto my hands that make me look like a kitten trying to pick up a coin. I try to Morse code the message by beating my head against the kitchen table, but she busts out the heavy gauge yarn and fashions a beanie that softens the blows to a dull thunk.
With my arms I charade that I'm emotionally immature and can't maintain a relationship for more than three months without getting scared and fleeing. A plus size poncho streams from her hands and she swaddles me with it. Now I'm a soft and fibrous potato, a segmented grub made of yarn. It rubs against my mustache, the hairs on my arm, setting off little fireworks in my brain and stomach. I blink in binary to her, but I don't know binary and I doubt she does either.
She scoots me across the floor, into her bedroom where forests of crocheted vines hang from the ceiling, connecting the walls with a sling, a purplish hammock made just for me, she says.
All this rapid craftwork has made her arms ropey with veins, which sounds gross but is actually kind of hot. She lifts me into the hammock without a grunt or a holding of breath.
She says, Don't want you falling out, and blooms little flowers that fasten me in.
She says, It's okay, I know what you were going to say. I was scared to say it too, at first. She mounts me like a mechanical bull. We bounce, her latticework giving a little.
But then I thought it was stupid to be scared, she says, if you feel something you should just say it. I love you, too.
She's hangs on me like an animal hide and snaps her fingers at the bedroom door. A few yarn bits come loose from the cat's fur when it runs into the room and springs onto her back. The three of us rock, gently.
It’s warm in my yarn cocoon, like she baked me into a baguette. I’m not going to let you go, she says. On her nightstand is a stack of crochet books with corners blunted from use, exploding with yellow Post-its. I don’t think I want you to, I say. But it’s muffled and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t hear me.