1983

Art by Kim Dorland

We were at a juncture where two roads met and one fell out of land,
I thought it best to stick to the line but a boy I liked had too many wild bones:
“hold my hand and walk”.

He said,
And I looked at the river stretched in front of me – and I looked back at him;
He was too sure and I held my breath more than I could focus on his hand encircled around mine.

We closed our eyes instinctively,
His wings flashed and I watched the wild bones plop into ripples one after the other,
His breath caught the surface once, twice-
I stood on the bank, shivering like a leaf, my insides twisted as a twig.

Everyone else was already at the wooden cabin,
I arrived in the line shrouded in a towel, the prying eyes nibbling at my flesh felt like razor-sharp teeth:
I held on to my breath and everything disappeared.

“She tried to drown herself on the first day of summer camp! Get down here, it’s serious”.
The twisted mint green telephone cord reminded me of mother’s hair and mine,
I tried to see her as kind as I was: It was only a matter of time when my eye would be a purple orb, a redolent swell,
Like that one time I lied about saving a dead bird

after
killing it.

where is our son?
I save things,
“We’ve looked everywhere. They were told to stay together but he wandered off”.
I saved you;
“It’s exactly like that Richard girl back in ’83”.
The wild bones and the winged breath,
No more broken orbs and purple wounds:
“Don’t give me that bullshit and go find my son!”;
I saved you.

‘Summer Camp 1983: First Ever’
the diary entry ends.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.

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