“What’s the matter with you?” she asks.
Years ago I had a lot of time and would answer such idiotic questions. She was thin then, and used mascara, blush. Now everything’s loose and natural and I don’t like it one bit. Even the dogs are different.
In the rain, fat-assed drops land like liquid bombs on our lips and lashes. We hide beneath the belly of Granddad’s tree, shaking, shivering, soaked. By the porch swing a wisp of gun smoke struggles to rise through the thick wet air. We watch it twirl together. We catch the color of his blackberry eyes and it stunts our breath, our growth.
“Shhh,” I say. “Maybe this is just a dream.”
My Neighbor, the Nudist
Mornings he walks. A decent stride, with his bits flopping, everything for the taking, a Gilligan hat and sandals the only skinless garb. Listen to him whistle, so happy and sure. Even the dogs do not bark and the birds they swirl and chatter grateful gossip. On weekends he waxes his old Corvair wearing nothing but black socks and Converse. You say how despicable it is, but I see you watch when you clean Jenny’s room upstairs. I see how brave you think he is.