If I had to say there
was one good part
about the beatings, it was the room’s curtains. Though the belt was
light was soft. The diaphanous, floor-length drapes held back enough of
daylight to illuminate us as shapes of ocean creatures. His elbow
into a triangle, like a dorsal fin, before it unleashed and recoiled.
slither away, being the size of a prawn. As such a creature I outgrew
shell and just walked right out of it. I saw this on some wildlife
that bedroom, all over the carpet, were my little skeletons nobody had
to clean up.
wind puffed up the fabric and stirred the dust as shards of crystalline
The barbed wire fence had snagged the angel’s wings again, I always
myself; maybe some day she’d make it.
Once in awhile
the curtains stuck to the TV’s rabbit ears. After he stopped I walked
window and fixed the curtains so they could blow out again if they
Some need a little extra boost in the saving department.
curtains was a treasure of trees and vines and poison oak, where I fled
afternoon. On my way out of the house was a portrait of expressionless
Christ. I nodded to him and quickened my pace. I didn’t believe in him,
told otherwise. I believed in the woods.
murmured “rhubarb rhubarb” for my return. That’s what they called me,
when I ran to them my stick thin body stayed straight as my long hair
out past the laundry lines and curled away from fence posts.
On the way to
the top of my favorite tree—shaped like a giant hand outstretched and
into a cup—my fingers brushed across the leaves to the highest branch
looked over the prairie.
I sat there
until the smell of charcoal broiled into the evening sky. Until then,
airplanes hummed at high altitude and contrails zigzagged but formed no
like cartoons had led me to believe.
I waved to the
passengers as they headed farther into their lives: to countries
water, to cities between mountain ranges, to villages filled with silk
and dainty tea cups. I knew some day it would be my turn.
And I was