We recently published Jessica Cavero’s lovely “Two Arms.”

Here, we ask her two questions about her story:

1) I love how you use songs to capture each section — there’s something about hearing a certain song that can really transport you back to a moment, isn’t there! What do you think it is about these particular songs that brings the narrator back to these moments?

Thank you, Cathy! This flash was actually inspired by Kathy Fish’s prompt Three Songs, Three Decades. The first two songs, “Where’s the Love?” and “Everlong,” used to play on the radio a lot when I was younger, and with each micro I thought about the people who had shared those bands with me at the time—a childhood friend, a romantic partner or a group of teenagers at a retreat holding space for each other. Music was and still is a kind of language for me, in that it helps me feel grounded and connected to other people, especially now that I struggle to find words with long covid. And “Spring Days” is just very dear to my heart. So often I have heard people say, “Listening to this album/band saved me.” I think that’s what this narrator is looking for, too: a point of connection and gentleness in the world, and to learn how to hold themselves with such kindness.

2) That last moment is so powerful! I love the idea of shaping the rice for onigiri being a tender act for yourself (even though my onigiri is always pretty sloppy!). Do you think acts like this will help the narrator through?

I think it will. That’s one way through the messy, spiral-y shape of healing, isn’t it? With small acts of warmth and nourishment to carry you from one moment to the next.