Coming Soon: My dear, please know I did not plan it this way.
Coming Soon: The headlights were too low to be Ryder’s aging Silverado. I did not have other family left, or many friends in town, and none would have visited at this hour.
I was stoned the summer after high school. We went to Taco Bell every day. I’d been in the system since junior high.
We speak of this fantasy when he is not too groggy from the morphine. In these times of clarity, my love for him forms bone and muscle.
Later, the girls stand in front of the open refrigerator, slightly feral: slices of cheese torn from plastic, pickles from the jar, a swig of Hershey’s syrup, jelly scooped out with a finger.
They gorge on mosquitoes and butterflies, a glut that cupcakes and roasted beef cannot satisfy. Mosquitos: a bloody morsel. Butterflies: how thrilling to make a meal of such gentle beauty.
“Do not forget this,” you’re telling your future self, because you searched every room. The third open door must have been a mistake.
At that point, we expected locked doors, staff with keys, and intricate systems of levels and points that determined our value, our movements, our freedoms.
“Hello,” the very small girl whispered to the pup as she settled into her seat. “My name is Tillie. Your name is Levi, and you are mine.”