I was in a web of fingers obscuring the warehouse where girls were kept in boxes like the one I escaped. Sister lullaby singing swallowed this closeness, so male, the other body, the boy’s hand sliding across her belly, the beauty of him, not the beauty of women and girls at the abandoned warehouse where we sat with the body I thought was like the statue of David. But I kept remembering skin scratched with splinters and mites. I dug and pried. Broke my nails, fingers torn to shreds. When a board finally gave, I pulled, busted a hole, a hollow for me to wriggle, breasts and back scraping wet concrete.
It took a while before I could see again.
Narrow crumbling concrete halls, blood on walls, I stumble. Her hands cover my eyes. Hers with others. Soon, I’m in a web of fingers obscuring, rough with dried blood—light from dusty barred windows, crates stacked on crates. Outside, sunlight, blinding white, erases the trees as birds sing to the river of the warehouse, where girls are kept in boxes like the one I escaped, sister lullaby singing.
Aimee Parkison is the author of Refrigerated Music for a Gleaming Woman (FC2/University of Alabama Press 2017), winner of the FC2 Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize, The Petals of Your Eyes (Starcherone/Dzanc 2014), Woman with Dark Horses (Starcherone 2004) and The Innocent Party, (BOA Editions, Ltd., American Reader Series 2012). Parkison’s fiction has won numerous awards and fellowships, including a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship, the Kurt Vonnegut Prize from North American Review, the Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction, the Jack Dyer Prize from Crab Orchard Review, a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, a Writers at Work Fellowship, a Puffin Foundation Fellowship, and an American Antiquarian Society William Randolph Hearst Creative Artists Fellowship. Parkison is the director of the Creative Writing Program at Oklahoma State University, where she teaches fiction writing. More information about Aimee Parkison and her writing can be found at www.aimeeparkison.com.