If you were there you would know why it made sense, those yards of fake golf grass and underwater cameras and assorted felt squares and paisley tissue paper and all the items that added up to a whirlwind Pic-N-Save shopping spree with my new best friend Alice who helped shoulder the plastic bags until we found the squirrel, or maybe a skunk, silenced by some car, its puff of a tail lilting in the humid heavy of a September that shouldn’t have been, a small tail-tufted shard of universe that was no longer with us and whose body I had to swaddle in Pic-N-Save paisley before sliding my hands under still-warmth as fat rain fell like intention on the side of the road where the life had left, fat rain on my cheeks, benediction to a girl who was suddenly wrestling with religion and the cosmos for the first time at nineteen, cruising around the campus of a college that wasn’t hers when she should have been sorting course offerings a few hours north at the college that was, that she poured everything into making hers, and which she had now fled to land me here, at my old friend’s college that decidedly, with all the slant looks and raised eyebrows, was not mine, even though everything—everything—all of it—finally—again seemed to be mine, after such a long endless brutal time
Hazel Kight Witham’s work can be found in Bellevue Literary Review, Two Hawks Quarterly and soon Rising Phoenix Review. Her middle grade memoir-in-verse, The Thing About Secrets, about the day everyone found out her mom was gay, is out on submission. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.
This piece was originally published on Flash Flash Click. We are honored to host it here in partnership and collaboration.
Image: “Thrift Store” by darkthirty