by Rebekkah Autaubo
Lay on the concrete porch, your head dangling off the edge. Your eyes sting from the brilliant blue of the cloudless Oklahoma sky. Your fingers are sticky from the cantaloupe you and your sister are eating for lunch. In the sky, chemtrails and blue-jays crisscross like stitching on a crust-punk’s jeans. You pull yourself up from the concrete porch, fixing the lion’s mane of hair that your father had gifted you in the womb, and take a walk to the backyard. In the middle of the backyard, your mother is filling the pool with water from the garden hose – you notice she is busy and take this chance to catch her off guard. Too loud, or too knowing, she feels you near and whips around with hose in hand, spraying you as the both of you laugh and try to outrun the cold, arsenic laced water.
Sit on the salvaged couch in the living room. You watch your family chatter amongst themselves and wonder if the walls are listening to the stories being told. You wonder if they will save the stories for later. You are alive during the most pleasant and peaceful day of your childhood. How could it get any easier than this? The sight of unity and coexisting weigh your eyes down with a well-earned sleep. In your dream, you can feel the warmth embracing the bed you sleep in. How many years until this becomes an oil burned memory? You can no longer taste the cantaloupe on your lips, nor is your hair as wild as it used to be. Your nine-year-old hands would not be able to support the burdens you carry now but the
story does not change
you still yearn for days of peace
but you do not look