The tent was of canvas, red-and-white striped, well staked except for the place where I wormed my body underneath. Inside, a kerosene lantern rocked on a pole. I shied my way through legs of men who’d gathered round to watch a person writhing in silence. The person was barefoot. She made strange signs with her hands, then grasped her face by the bones of her cheeks and wrenched her head from her body. She writhed, displaying the head for the men, who smiled. Or that was the closest word for their faces. The head smiled, too.
Scott Garsons Comments
This story is as curious a thing for me as it probably is for you. (One influence in the drafting of the manuscript: Charles Simic’s The World Doesn’t End, a book whose looseness has always struck me as key to the wow.)