Psychopomp Magazine Summer 2014 - Page 12

these people out here crazy as hell! Everybody goin’ around callin’ Daryl by that stupid gansta name, when Daryl was clean—never dirty. Never dirty and damn sho’ no where near no boy! He gave all that bangin’ up when we moved out to Carson.

But don’t nobody care ‘bout none of that. Not Redman, not the Changs. Not nobody. We all rats in a maze made outta brick walls. And we keep bumpin’ our heads tryna get out. City birds runnin’ into glass skyscrapers.

By the time I drive all the way up from the south side to the condo Daryl got us far away from everybody and everything, I’m cool again. Only thing is I didn’t even to get a chance to enjoy the car on the way home, so when I pull up in the garage, I decide to sit for a while. I reach over and pull the grocery bag up off the floor and sit it in my lap. I take out each thing in there and hold it up to my nose one by one. The red pepper and the green pepper and the chile pisillas smell hot and spicy like me, but the oxtails smell fresh and cool like Daryl. Together in the pot they gon smell like heaven with a little bit of hell mixed in. I smile ’cause that's what Daryl said to me on when he was beggin’ me to go to the Changs’ and cook him some oxtails. “They got the best cuts, those Changs,” Daryl had said. “Just like I like ’em.”

I was complainin’ though ’cause I didn’t wanna have to drive all the way over to the south side, and ’cause I was gon’ be cookin’ Easter dinner in a couple a days anyway. But I was gonna go. I can’t never deny that man nothin’. He know that. That was Thursday. By early on Friday mornin’ Daryl was lyin’ on our livin’ room floor tellin’ me about how some slanty-eyed bitch had shot him in the back. I had pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and was dialin’ 911 when he curled his hand around mine and said, “Naw, Mia. Don’t be callin’ no police. We don’t need them.”

So there we was. On a Good Friday mornin’ with his head heavy in my lap and his blood soakin’ warm into my jeans, while l held him and rocked him and asked him why. The last thing he said to me was “The car.” The car. Like it was kinda real goodbye like I love you. After that I had went down to the garage and stood lookin’ at the car. It sat in the same spot in the garage where it always sat, the windows dark on all sides and the engine still click clickin’ as it cooled down from Daryl last ride. The garage door stood open and so did the door on the driver’s side of the Chevy. The car keys was lyin’ on the cement next to it. I’d walked up close to the car seen all the blood inside. Blood that sat and soaked itself into the car. Daryl blood.

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