Today was a bad day. Mom cried all day and the baby birds trapped inside the attic. I’m sad because they won’t listen to me. The termite man will tent the house tomorrow. I climbed ladders for them. Cooed them toward nowhere safe.
Today was a bad day and the thunderstorms couldn’t hush the howling of mom or the wind or that thing that makes moms and the wind howl like mad, mad wolves. Or hatters. Howlers that not even the wind can muffle or silence.
Mom was screaming. Is screaming. Will never stop screaming for Amanda B. She will count on her lungs to feed her today. She hasn’t eaten in days. Hasn’t peed in the toilet for days. Hasn’t used my name in days. I am screaming.
In a moment it will begin to rain (again) and the Puerto Rican boy next door wants to take me on a date. Says he has something to show me. Says I am pretty in the light and dark. I wonder if he knows I’m a boy just like him. I wonder if he cares. I wonder if mom will care. If I take his offer and fly with him in his red Camaro, will I repeat mom? Will I die? Collapse into his arms? Vanish from the face of the unknown universe?
I wonder if I’m old enough to fly. I feel like I have the right to clear skyscrapers with my bare virgin hands. I have the right to examine the nature of boys in the backseat of sports cars on the birth of Biscayne Bay. I promised mom I’d be safe and she nodded yes and uh huh and then screamed uncontrollably for B. She nodded toward the door. Nodded toward the place where Amanda B. fled in her butch attire and flats. She nodded toward the exit where all stories begin and end. For mom and Amanda B. For mom and me. In a few days. More.