I want you like the sudden silence of the chute opening, the twin engine fire now a childhood memory, the earth so far below it makes no sense, panic a clay you can mash into fist shapes like a heart dead cold.
This she writes into a notebook, smoking a Pall Mall under a maple. An electronic beep and intercom static entreaties, “Mrs. Bee. You are needed in the arts quad.”
She’s never skydived, so much as touched an airplane, not done anything remarkable beyond escaping the reservation. Which is, undeniably, remarkable. She’s also, and never has been, a Mrs., and “Bee” stands for “Hokala.” Badger never gets his due as a clever child of God.
“Fuck,” Maeve says. She knows which child has vomited and whose leavings will need her scented distribution of sawdust. The weeks decide how they will be observed.
Real good reason to get off the heroin. Or maybe not.
The dented mirror almost helps with the acne scars. When the children leave their violins in the basement, she dances with them like partners. Enacts their shapes for “just kidding.” The kid that calls her squaw, she can squint and think words they don’t yet know. Welcome to Oregon. Watch the Catholic priest kiddie proceedings. Binge. Purge. Repeat.
I want you like I could start again. Be shot out of my mother’s womb. Breathe innocence like oxygen.
She never will be seen in profile. Hair: crow’s blue black. Right arm: ringed by tribal tattoo. Education: Master’s lost in lost languages. Sawdust: at the ready.