NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 18 Issue 1 - Winter 2018 - Page 48

Sisters & Brothers How It Happened His granddaughters, Zoe & Noa, hug each other on his desk, one protecting the other from some imagined hurt. Have you ever missed a step, trusted dumb luck, crafted a promise you couldn’t keep? He rarely thinks of them this way but one glance to his right & there it is again, the threat & the salvation. He never had a brother or a sister. As his mother told it, they all died before birth — those that might have been. He never pursued them, never mourned their passing, never bothered, but has been plagued by something . . . an impulse. To hide? To bury the surviving body as they are buried? Once, someone suggested he live with them & they with him, that he open the door — that he pass through. It was so easy to say — so easy. ** In his dream the dead have gathered in his living room. There are five, as she’d said. Strangers to him, they seem to know each other & speak of him as if he had been the one to die or, at least, cannot be found. He moves closer to hear more clearly. They drift away, ignore his discomfort, then return, the girls Around midnight, the sour bells of St. Michael’s warn of a crisis of faith. Jake shuffles the deck & lays out your fortune. Where is it written you will always be offered a second chance? Out of the dark comes a flutter & a cough & here’s Bennie & his pet hawk Max. Suzie passes a lager down the line. Lights a Camel. Takes a deep drag. We’ve been traveling these last years, we of the hit & run, we of the go & go long. How it happened is a mystery — how she knew — how & why she escorted the corpse & then there are all those lies. Where does it say someone will pay? Where does it say, be appeased & hang your hat here? Her smile dazzles the warped & wanton. Score one for Robert who struggles to ejaculate. Score one for Suzie who offers recreation or was it recuperation . . . Score one for all who suffer silence in the face of accusation, all who whittle the brambles that clog the mind. (there are three) dress in army fatigues & stand at-ease with rifles canted to the right, the men (there are two) dress as doctors in green scrubs & pour blood-red wine from b ́Ѽ͕́)ͥɐ!ɥ́Ѽѕѡ)éͽ䰁́ٽɥ͕̰́́́͡ѼݕЀ݅́Ѽɭ)ɽѡѥѡ