A collage with an old time drawing of a ship at sea melded with a background of desert hills and bushes. An old black and white drawing of a hare is perched in the middle distance

Drive to Mexico

Every time mother came home screaming father would calmly pluck out her eyes and get them in the bread box until she felt safe again. Her elbows would chatter but she knew it was for the best. This made the drive to Mexico very arduous. 

--Quick, come home quick! Bundle her in blankets and rosy the cheeks! All the doors are open. Stop coming unnanounced. 

The argument here being that the yellow was almost gone from all the lights, and on occasion the sun would move like birds. At noon it would scatter it’s very own self, spread across the entire sky flapping and chirping. The beauty of these noises was only overcome by the blinding white light and desert heat that pierced the facade of each citizen. 

The light, they said, would surely kill us all. At least until nightfall. Then we would all stand up like a shout. Dancing. 

The movement throughout the streets was like a score, our life in the house was all played out on the street every day, but we very much pretended not to notice. I always thought sister was the fire hydrant, and I was the sky. I never mentioned this aloud, but would glare it in my head at her, over the morning cereal, when I was feeling cranky. 

And each time we fell in love, the world would go dark and light very fast. Like blinking. We once had a litter of puppies. It was night and day arguing, they couldn’t decide between themselves whose moment it was. Little brother had a short spell of convulsions. We brought him water. Sister panicked and was sent to rip sheets, and boil water. When brother was feeling well we all drank tea and named young dogs the names of old men and ships. Large boats with painted women guiding the way. Showing how unimportant we all were. 

Sister was a ship. I felt bad about her panic, so I told her so. She kissed my cheek and we built a tire swing for ourselves. And others, if they wanted to use it. 

We would build trees in the winter out of old clothes and wigs. 

We would build trees and then climb to the top.

~ Chris Reimer