Issue 35 (May 2012)
During the basketball season when I was young, Lola Ging would ritually invoke divine intervention on behalf of the Crispa Redmanizers. This was a lengthy process which required an assemblage of certain arcane paraphernalia.
Think of two sisters walking parallel.
On each fifth, seventh, or eleventh step
they bump hands, jostle elbows;
pushed together by a crowd.
I am everywhere. And I am everything.
I remember opening a door. The door. I took a seat without being asked or permitted to, but I knew she wanted me to do so.
When she came back to the shore and found her swanskin, she knew someone had been there while she was away. The skin was folded, neatly, humanly, and while her human nose couldn’t detect the stranger’s scent, she knew that as soon as she pulled the skin on she would detect the alienness.
Nafessa and Jake were nestled together inside of the train. Her black skin and his white skin swirled into the plastic seats that were tucked away in a corner on the Red Line El which was headed southbound and closing in on Fullerton.
They found most of Crow Face Wilson two miles south of Silver Creek. Part of him was behind the rusty chicken wire of the corn crib, swarming with horse flies. The other parts were loosely scattered off into the tall grass just short of the swayback fence.
I’m staring at myself, fifteen years into the future. Future me is laughing with my friends. He looks thinner, younger than I do. Happier, too. I hate him for it.
Claire’s papa doesn’t know her anymore. She’s been his daughter all her life, but when they sit down for dinner, he pushes his bowl of chili onto the floor. The bowl is plastic; after the first four times, she learned her lesson, but it still cracks as it hits the tile. The beans spread in a puddle beneath his feet.