Try to remember that you’re happy. Running track brings a mental hum, in which you can talk to yourself.
That holiday I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and escaped to a place of stoops and eaves where a tiny stump of tree was the only touch of green.
They executed the hive vandal at noon, just as the crickets had warmed enough to make the long grass sing.
Early in the morning, Sis took me to watch the volcano. I slept on her lap in the bus. We got to the heath just as the sun was rising, just as the pillar of smoke began to thin and gleam.
He loved the house. Its idiosyncrasies. The things that made it difficult.
We’re a family, but the only thing that binds us now is blood. We are western lowland gorillas, displaced in the Virginia Beach zoo, but no complaints.
My father came home a war hero, quiet and handsome in his leather flight jacket, with souvenirs—an enemy sword, a dented helmet.
After the rapture I decided to buy a tiny house. The realtor met me in the driveway.
They stand outside the enclosure, just like last Thursday. Ever since her father won passes at work, Neko drags May to the zoo after school.
I dig up a lint ball from his belly button. Roll it between my fingertips.
“You think he deserved it?” My kid brother shrugs at that and looks out the window which I figure is a yes.
Inventory day in the bunker. On Daddy’s Excel sheet, canned tomatoes, peas and peaches are a month past expiry.
She woke me up from sleep to tell me that the chirping from the cricket was keeping her awake.
Dad is staring at the back of the house where the wall has been repaired. He is worried that the house is going to fall down.
That morning, she got in the car before him, as usual. On Friday frost had only left its breath on the glass.
I tell you I’ve only ever shown it to a girl who I met on a tour bus in Moscow, where I was traveling with my parents. She had bad acne, and she really liked Duran Duran.
Kate is not ‘imagining it’. There are small tufts of pale fluff on her neck, and no, it’s not ‘just a tissue in the washing machine’ as John suggests. There’s nothing drifting off his shirts, nothing clinging to Ella’s favourite black top, Josh’s Minecraft t-shirts. It’s more solid than tissue, just on her clothes. And only she can see it.
Ignis, the flaming wreckage, bubbling rubber, liquified cloth, her skin charred and blistering, acrid smoke, the tiny thunders of survival’s kicks