After my phone autocorrects “fun” to gun,

Madeleine Corley

she
&
I
flutter
with
chalk,
cloak
our
flesh
in
technicolor
dust.
I
teach
the
five-year-old
how
to
outline
my
frozen
figure,
to
etch
out
a
smile
and
rainbow
my
hair.
What
begins
as
pretend
will
grow
up.
That
night,
we
awe
at
heaven
melting
crayons
into
our
palms.
The
bonfire
wails,
spits
out
its qualms,
whether
dry
paper
or
soaked
magazines,
whatever we
could
find.
I
sit
and
sip
lemonade
as
we
parse
out
shades
of
midnight,
her
eyes
clutching
sky
for
any
spark of
amber.
My
phone
sleeps
and
so
do
the
neighbors.
Silence howls
back
at
us.
Bats
echo,
their
rounds
ricocheting
off
pine
trees,
our
pavement
bodies
skimmed
and
forgotten
daily
news.
She
grabs
my
wrist
and
points:
Look!
A
shooting
star!
I
flinch.
Fear
triggers
in
my
throat.
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