Freezer, inside

The stairway is metal and it isn’t safe. The way it is rusted and spiral it isn’t safe. Make it for real. Make what you said real. 

On Tuesday nights they go to this meeting. Every other Tuesday. There’s this girl there, and she looks at him, and she doesn’t brush her hair. She looks at him like an anointing even though he’s not there alone, and the one he’s with, she and him: they’re going to be better. She brushes her hair, and she looks at him everyday. He’s ancient to her.

The meetings are made up of memories, and there are so many memories there she thinks to sometimes bring joss paper to burn. They’re all ancestors of themselves, worshiping.

Being small enough to play under the table. Being small enough to fit under the table and seeing a gun strapped there. Being small enough to play under the stairway. Playing make-believe. One, two: like that. Make, believe. 

The freezer outside, under the stairway: it isn’t safe. If they play hide-and-seek and they hide in the freezer they can’t get out. They’ll suffocate, and freeze. Lock it and remind them to stay away. Tell them to play in the trees, where the air is. 

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” So that you may not chata’: the Hebrew word used here for sin, the Hebrew word for to lose oneself, to miss oneself. They use their sins to remember. One, two, three: like that. Make, believe, never let go of. Stay inside of. Where it isn’t safe. 

One Comment

  1. Posted December 2, 2008 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    you stopped me dead in my tracks with that sentence about the ancestors. i’m sitting here staring, trying to feel the backs of my knees again. could i stand? not with these tingling legs, this arrested heart…

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