If people always knew when intruders had broken into their homes, no one would ever die this way. I grab a chef’s knife, the knife that slices through raw chicken, bone and flesh, and return to the living room where the moth persists at the lamp. There’s only one way to be sure. I’ll have to check.
Category: Spring 2016
Perhaps because of the housing boom and bust of the early 21st century, American society is now more aware of the “near poor” or people who are just getting by. But when I was a teenager, normal-looking actually meant “just like everyone else.” No one knew I was hungry and poor.
She kept her head down, noting pieces of chrome, the crunch of sandal on pebbles on asphalt, the sound of whirring cars, a dead hawk with its pure white breast ripped apart and wings frayed every which way.
Ruth had always said that when she was too enfeebled to live independently, she’d “off” herself, as she put it with characteristic candor. A Right-to-Die advocate for decades, she was now bequeathing possessions. That’s what people did when they were going to do themselves in. Ruth would have been proud of me for putting it that way, for not resorting to a more comfortable euphemism.
My body is a private and practical thing—something yielded to the production of children and the scrubbing of a bathtub, but not something I would find either pleasure or pride in offering to the public. And yet, here I am, sitting in front of a computer, offering its naked portrait to the public gaze because, as a writer, my job is to be publicly naked.
“Oh yes, there was a famous woman organizer who lived on Evans. If she’s still around, she would be very old now. Older than me,” said Sister Jonnie smiling.
This piqued Valerie’s interest. It could be possible to have an interview.
Again, a question of language—I use the possessive pronoun and I become ill at ease, a little sick, the way you feel when you’ve eaten too many sweets—my rapist, the way I call my lover, my mother, my son.
Step five. Place mouth over nozzle. Inhale deeply. Enjoy the buzz that follows and repeat as needed. Huff on, bitches.
[T]ell them, dear child, of the female narrative not born
of temptation & sin but of the blood of your blood singing out.