The angels came to save us. They stopped the wars, aggression, jealousy, ill-will. God is merciful, they said, God is kind. God is tired of your killing. Both sides prayed for peace; both sides prayed for victory. There's peace, but who won? We all pray for freedom now, and the angels are beginning to grumble.
I snap my head sideways and start to bite my right bicep. I stop. A string of spit connects my mouth to my arm. I remember vomiting Sugar Smacks on the door of my homeroom in middle school. I blame the string of spit for connecting my brain to a bad memory. I blame my bicep for being so close. I immediately forgive them and wipe away the spit so I can wonder about the things my body doesn't understand.
Some people need to die to feel excited. My neighbor, Rose, plants lawn gnomes. Her husband’s daughter’s girl is in the window. On the mantle. Pouring lemonade ice cubes down Pop’s throat. There’s a kid bicycling on TV. His eyes meet mine and Pop’s then Pop’s chest on the beagle, Minute Maid dripping down his smile.
I wait in the shadows. My heart keeps time, hidden under layers of wool and cotton and flesh instead of dusty floorboards. He’ll come bearing three roses and a bottle of Cognac, with a scarf wrapped round his face. Last year I fell asleep. When I awoke, he’d already come and gone. The bottle glittering in the moonlight, the roses blooming bloody petals, and two inkspot eyes reflecting my disappointment.