She Wanted to Be a Trapeze Artist
by C.Z. Wright
Paint thinner in the yard and mamma’s not in the house. She’s at the back door. Her feet are in the yard, with her hands. I brought her a glazed ham so she’d lay off me for being too thin, for the lack of hair on my chin. I guess she never really ate much ham anyhow, just liked watching me eat it. There are newspaper clippings where clean linoleum used to be, last time I was here. I am sixteen, on the one hundred yard line and screaming in black and white, covering the plastic tiles that are starting to come up at the corners. He bought her that knife set for Christmas one year and she cried. He never did understand the difference between good knives and Fine China. Figured if she liked the one, she oughta like the other. Suppose a knife don’t have to be clean to cut, so I slice right through that ham, sitting in my old spot at the table. Honey glaze never tasted so strange. My bare hands. I never ate in this house without a fork. She did say it was getting quiet here without him. She did say, “Come home”. Here I am, huh? She is holding something wood. It is tucked between her and the grass. The photograph of Dad isn’t there on the wall. There’s a dark square, like the ghost of an old frame, like them shadow walls in Hiroshima. I never did take her to Japan.