Myfanwy Collins

Visiting the aunt we used old fur coats for blankets to cover us as we slept on cushions on the floor. There was no toilet paper in the house. Instead, we were given comic books with which to wipe ourselves.

A clothesbasket flew across my room in the dark.

From an unplugged radio, voices of a mother and son.

Footsteps on the stairs.

A light switch turning on, turning off.

At the end of the bed, a woman with in a blue dress covered in glowing stars.

She saw Grandmother walking past a drive-thru bank once.

A man came down through the ceiling and spoke to her. Was he God? No, no. Just a man.

I believed I would see my father walking over the hill. I waited.

Uncle Leo taught me how to use a hammer. He ate chocolate Ex-Lax. He gave me beads to make necklaces.

Later, I would lie in my rented room with my blue candles lit and the television on all night. On Fridays, I would eat Chinese food at the buffet and then take five laxatives.

He had a crush on a girl when he was in seventh grade. She was violated and murdered that year by a bad man. He told me this as we sat in florescence eating Chinese food. A woman on the street shook a man’s shirt into the sunlight and wiped her face with it. She was holding a conversation with someone unseen—bowing, smiling. The wind cut through.

Drunken woman on the bus asked me about her sunglasses, did I like them? She tried to give the glasses to me, but I could not stop watching her skin, the light and the dark of it.

The substitute teacher was badly burned by the tractor while her husband was off fucking someone else. She taught science and had a lisp. Her hands were in bandages.

As a child she envisioned her life as a number line—the years before she was born, negative, and the years after, positive, leading on into infinity.

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