Where My Boyfriend Lives
Where my boyfriend lives, the grass grows sideways — not up
but into itself, like fingers entwined, like slow hula dancers. In his
town, the people sing when they are dying. His mama makes roses bloom
when she whispers to them; his dad keeps fire in a jar on his bedside
table and releases it at night, sneaking up on it again in the morning
when it has tired.
Where my boyfriend lives I visited just once, on a Thursday, when the
streets are cleaned and a young man, hair slicked back by spit, stands
just outside the doorway of the barbershop and hands out free candy to
folks walking by. I took one, a chalky peppermint truffle, light as
air. For the rest of the day I shot icicles out of the ends of my
fingers. My boyfriend laughed at me and stepped on the heels of my
shoes. That night we watched lightning, his dad's jar flames skipping
across the sky, tripping over each other, eager to find a party.
Where my boyfriend lives, letters are written on banana peels. The ones
my boyfriend sends me talk about ordinary things like the color of my
eyes, the sound of steel digging into dirt, the need for everything to
have a name. The letters are short and sometimes long. They talk about
how when we are older we will move somewhere exotic.
Tara Laskowski is the Kathy Fish Fellow and Writer in Residence at SmokeLong Quarterly. She has stories in
Barrelhouse, The Northville Review, decomP, Pindeldyboz and others.
To link to this story directly: http://wigleaf.com/200911where.htm
Photo detail on main page courtesy
w i g · l e a F