There was no other, a border of unspeakable names or lost rivers. The elephants flew, and the trolls were enough. Today, the trolls are gone, and there are two spinning elephant axels. The que was tirelessly long—the Vikings held no candle through the snowstorm where the ancestor’s descendants now drink sangrias in the sand.

I rode my bike

down a hill

and fell flat

on my face

on my arms

on my legs

and I returned,

my pants’ elastic

had snapped.

I don’t remember pain, only how afraid I was of the red spots all over me.

A man tried to teach me to salsa once, don’t think, feel the rhythm. Don’t worry about your flight, I was in a storm in Mexico once, we flew right through it and I practically flew out of my seat and into the clouds. Have two more martinis.

Air pollution in the sky was my favorite memory, millionaires, poor work wages, and a drive toward progress. Take me away from the lights, bring me to stars so bright and mountainscapes that brush blue and green as marble descending into the very core of the earth: laughter.

Everyone says it all started with a mouse, but maybe it started with tears, first from the sight of blood, and then being raised up into the air, held in suspension by hands and more hands, all full of the hot red love from the dust.

I could no longer keep up my pants. My mom bought me a pretty pink dress. I sweat under the humid Florida sun, and I danced, that same kind of laughter lingering on my dry, chapped lips.

Published by celinamcmanus

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