One went for two and became one again. Meaning a boy beside his mother, and the mother sleeping. There was just two or one confusing itself. A person could get sick like this.
There was a little house in the yard behind their house.
There was corn out one window and over the other window was a sheet. Here was summer to wake up wild. Here, a summer to chase chickens. And the hot hogs that squealed in the stalls next door. His mother lay sleeping.
Her hand held long bones and the ropes rolled and popped under her skin. She let him work the ropes back and forth across her bones, but one could get bored with it. It was her loose skin that he liked. And what lay underneath there was harder.
And what lay underneath her hardness?
Light came cauliflower across the sheets, then mushroom, then cauliflower again. The light almost touched one’s hair. It was the kind of light you wanted more and more of. It would not reach. He touched her hair. Morning doves cooed wooden sounds in corn. The sheets were hung. You could get sick. A person.
There was a closet with old things inside—baby clothes, chests of things.
Up close her face looked made in light. The closet smelled like wood and dust. A small bird and its shadow flew over the sheet across the window. Strings over her bones popped in and out of place. The shadow was gone. The bird was gone. It was late now in summer.
The closet held old trophies she won.
She had run so fast.
Scraps of paper cut from papers said so.
She was tired, tired.
With her face near, he felt air come out. Slipping lower, he ran his leg down one of her legs. He felt her smoothness and then her sharp hairs tugged.
Sleep, she said.
Her mouth was shut. He heard a tractor. He imagined little bits of husk floating. She breathed through her nose.
There was the little house behind the house where he could go.
The tractor hummed. Birds. There were the hogs. He placed his head on his fist, his elbow sunk into the mattress and he looked at her good. Her mouth was dead closed and she breathed in her throat like little pigs talking in the air. He touched her hair.
Bridger Redmond is a professor who lives off the coast of Santa Maria, Texas with his German Shepherd and his two children Sylvia, age 3, and Annabelle, 5.