When I was dying, my daughter flew north to say goodbye. Her beloved said that when I heard my daughter’s voice, my heart beat stronger. Watching the monitor, they said: “Look, she knows it’s you.” I slept like a gray-haired sleeping beauty, but my heart woke. Months later, I wobbled on the beach with a cane, watching my daughter and her beloved in the waves. People stared at them holding hands – one deep brown, one pale and burning. I wondered how to protect them without my land legs, when all I was is a beating heart on the hot sand.

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Marianne Connolly is writer and visual artist living in western Massachusetts, and a member of Gallery A3, an artists' cooperative in Amherst, MA. She works with photography, collage and stories. Marianne is working on an urban fantasy novel set in Boston's gay community in 1983, and recently published her first short story in The Future Fire. Marianne was a 2021 finalist for the Writers of the Future award.


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