Part 5

The brightening world blanched before their narrow squints, and their brows clenched with unmendable, burdened lines that worried with curiosity underneath the prying sun. Off the Mississippi came an unbidden advance of that familiar, slithery breath of humid afternoon and it dragged with it the fetor of last nights piss stains blackening and emanating in the heat against ruined walls they’d passed with sidelong scowls. Where along the battered back-buildings revelers had prowled late like strange characters out of place, and out of sync with time, confetti was beaten down by slimy, light rain.

The empty buildings were now behind them, disjointed, leaning like tombs that had dug their heels into graveyard dirt. The old walls blemished with laborious graffiti of jazz funerals; dusky, puffed cheeks blowing into burnished gold making sad music, weeping women in lace blotting the corners of their invisible eyes. The pinching sound of shoes weighing down on sharp rocks had come to a stop, yet still seemed to echo in the silence shared between them with what they all peered down upon.

It’s the palms of her hands and her feet, but no body, the cop said. Lots of punctures, maybe bites, scratches, bruising, likely defensive.

Sounds familiar. Like its been in a story before, the female detective said. She’d kept her arms crossed as she’d approached the paled, shredded fragments bloating alone in their decaying nest. The pieces looked like clearance halloween props; inhuman objects, in some grotesque joke of being human.

The Bible, the cop said, it’s been in the Bible.

Never read it. What’s it say? She asked.

Jezebel was tossed out of a window, and when they’d gone to find her body and bury it they only found the palms of her hands and her feet. Wild dogs ate the rest of her, the cop said, looks like dogs ate this one, too.

Marks are too precise for dogs. How do we know this is her? Stunned by the interjection of the male detective who had heretofore been silent as he’d followed, the cop and the woman pause to stare back at him.

Tattoo she got at her wedding last night, the cop said.

Wedding? Both detectives asked in an unconnected harmony.

 

to be continued…

part 4

12 hours ago

 

He’d raised the toy up to eye level and inspected its cylindrical shape and strange writing and holographic paper stuck around the circle of its body with one eye squinted. He’d turned around the noisy confetti in the kaleidoscope and peered through himself first to test it out, and then took it down to the toddlers eye level and pulled him close lovingly the way a brother or father would.

He’d piped out an elongated Mickey mouse, wooooow! for effect, and his tickling beard wowed with him. He’d patted baby Mikey on his bony shoulder.

Isn’t that cute, Miranda had said, perching her soap-chapped knuckles onto the hew of her hips, he likes you, Gabe.

The sound of keys and the sound of the keys’ metallic intercourse with the door had arrived, and the doorknob was thrust, flopping, in need of repair too long ago. Gabriel was agile and out of Miranda’s window before mom could’ve sworn she’d heard something. Bye bye dada, baby Mikey had said.

Miranda, is dinner ready? Mom creaked in her slurred voice with that bubonic black hair rheumy with the wet of work.

And yet Gabriel dared back through the dirty Disney sheet-curtains thumb tacked over the bedroom window and implored of Miranda a farewell kiss before he’d gone back out into the dusk with a groan.

Miranda had whisper shouted, Seeya later, as he’d run into the firmament of cricketing trees where he was embraced by an intruding dark.

 

to be continued …

PART 3

 

TRAILER PARK

To a child all things rise. Mother rises in the morning when the sun rises. The moon rises and mom and baby go to sleep. Miranda would rise to feed him. The dead girls name was Miranda and she never rose today, and baby Mikey wondered why his sister never trickled in with the sun as she usually did with it thrilling through her saltwater hair like a bright comb.

He faintly recalls a damp kiss on his temple between alphabet dreams, but she never rose with him. He was so hungry now he’d cried and made duck noises and horse noises he’d learned from the toy in his broken bed next to Miranda’s empty one.

Real mother staggered in belated expecting that Miranda had fed baby Mikey.

Where the fuck is Miranda? Mom squawked too loud in her talon-voice, and baby Mikey flinched.

Baby Mikey made a cat noise and then said, bye bye dada, because he’d also dimly recalled his toy making an opaline of harmonious colors and grinning like a kitten kneading fat and seeing Miranda’s friend with a beard; all men with beards are dada, but he’s too young to explain.

to be continued … 

part 2

 

NEW ORLEANS:

Morning rose and the wallowing sun divulged trace litters of a lady’s’ under things and a stringy rip of shredded denim. The evidence was fixed up in a concrete drainage ditch by a humid water line, with alien pale rocks that jutted out circling it like delegates from the moon and carefully placed on top the tatters to keep them from disturbance.

When the nutria scattered after having nibbled at coagulated blood spots dry and sweet to them like hard candy, they’d arrived. A set of shadows, which frowned and overlooked the mystery pile like mourners hovering over a peeled casket.

But where’s the body, one asked, yellow lettering dramatically over the heart of her windbreaker spelled out the words S-T-A-T-E and P-O-L-I-C-E. She shifted and bent her knees to crouch and lean over it thoughtfully, making the chunky coat swish and her arthritic knees click. She grimaced as if the evidence could spring up and shout BOO.

We don’t even know if this is hers, the other one says sardonically in his gloomy suit.

Detectives, a voice asks from behind, come have a look at this.

 

to be continued …

part 1

There’s a girl and a gust of wind and the house she left behind. A pale yellow house with mold in the corners and babies with fevers, and cigarette smoke in her nose and on the walls of her room, in her hair and in her bed sheets, and on the outside in the humid world beyond the broken door she crept out of at 2am.

They looked for her in the pastures and in the nooks, in the neck of the woods that smell green and lush and watery, and they looked up as if she might be in a tree staring down at them, but they never did find her.

 

to be continued …