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The girl, a matchmaker, asked to see Shlomo’s hand. Reaching from her coat pocket, she pressed a tarot card-sized photo into his palm.
He always smelled like fabric softener exhaust from the laundromat down our block: like blue bottles of Downy and Saturday nights, when Mami would blow dry my hair straight with dollops of Dippity-Doo.
Some just want a lick of fame, prostrate at my feet with their sweaty headshots as if I am the one to save them, as if they are worth saving.
What does a melon dream about as it bathes in tendrils of rainwater, wishing to be invisible?
It was That Smell, that-so-familiar-one that hurt me not to remember where I’d smelled it before.
It’s the heartbeat that I can’t forget. When the sonogram technician held her transducer to my abdomen and turned up the sound I was surprised by its rapidity.
It was here that Dad told me the story. I didn’t know where the story had come from, or how long he’d carried it inside him.
She, too, often felt she would die if she went without physical contact. She worried sometimes that this meant she was becoming one of them.
April says the people at church don’t talk to us because they’re motherfuckers.
She updates the simple bio on her dating profile: “looking for nothing serious. I am really into knives. Really, really into knives, ask me about it.”
Maybe it wasn’t that Angie wanted to break things off with Kate; she just didn’t know enough to decide if she wanted to keep going.
This time of year, there are so many people pretending excitement when they feel none.
Raul returns the greeting, always the same: by running his pointer finger over his throat in disapproval.
Who were we? Puerto Ricans stuck in a drift, still moving from an American haunting howling on The Island, howling in us.
The swastika on his sign is hand-drawn, a little uneven. Painted, not permanent marker. He made that thing himself. A Nazi crafter.
The prayer for air safety then begins to taxi to a halt: “Charge your angels, oh Lord, to escort the plane from take-off to landing.”
“You’re Mexican!” he said a little too enthusiastically, like I was just what he’d been looking for. I worried that he was going to put me in his museum or something.
The whales would sing because they were alone, but with each other, their song a reminder that loss and exile are linked.
I can’t stop seeing the brush in her hand as a scalpel, her countless bracelets jangling as she prepares to make the next cut.
The winner must avoid having part or all of his or her assets taken into trust by the federal government.
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