O: “I need you, sister”

R [from under the sofa]: “Mother?”

O: “I need you, sister”

R [from inside an ice chest]: “Are you home, Mother?”

O: “I need you, sister”

R [from her unmade bed]: “My teeth ache.  I can catch them on my own”

O: “I need you, sister”

R [from inside a dress]: “Don’t you feel embarrassed?”

O: “I need you, sister”



A child was walking home on the beach.  Her suit was choreographed in color and shape, composed by elderly hands with grey stitching.  Red slacks, crammed with white shirt, were ballooned and hovering around the girl’s ankles.  Sand poured from each cuff in rhythmic distaste: she went swimming in the ocean without permission. without shoes, without underpants.  The leather sandals were ruined, abandoned on an exposed rock in low-tide waiting to be submerged in the patterned swell.  White foamed caps of the Atlantic were father’s tongues, eager to eat an element of his offspring.  eager for tasting his sex, formatted in the child as DNA and pink sea salt.  Her underpants?  She mourned them by smacking her own wet face.

Someone in the distance was poorly playing a drum, which the girl hated.  The walker rewet her chin with drool.

The beach was threatening nighttime, barbed hooks sunken into the walker’s thumbs with clear lines dragging parcels of seaweed behind as she moved. A family of dungeness crabs were being transported in the nests.  Clicked bubbles faintly to the walker,

O: “I need you, sister”

R [from inside a red suit] “Mother came home early from work!  There is a plate of warm cookies waiting for us at          home!  We are cold but the cookies and mother’s kindness will make everything perfect like real happiness!  Like amputated emotions!”

She, walker, age 7, stitched into a suit, began to feel afraid of the darkness.  Knowing that the crabs were relying on her for safety, she had created a lie about Mothers and fresh food and amputated emotions.  She started to sweat.

R [now a Mother]: “I need you, sister”

O: “come home, sister”

The family of crustaceans (dependents), placated, felt like a bunch of GENIUSES over this free ride they were getting from a dumb girl without underpants.  Bubbles leaked from one crab’s mouth to the next as the organs chewed warm cookies that mother had made when she came back to the nest early from work.

little walker walked.

 skin burned in salt as orange light

adored the sand. home

birthed visible odors through a crooked roof pipe.

her family was inside enjoying their emotions over a plate of warm cookies

a pair of white underpants were hung on a rack by the fire

neat rows of leather sandals too


Little Walker, R [from under the couch, stroking a dead fish]: “I’m crying again”