The Little Girl

The little boy about seven-years-old knocks on my door, in the trees all the birds are waking, chirping about cats and water

I need help, he says, so we walk hand-in-hand to an empty house a few streets over, I get the rusty latch open and he goes in with a smile

A few hours later he’s back and seems to be at least 10

He asks if I can let him use the phone, sure I say and then he calls his mother in a thin voice to come and get him…mommy, mommy please…and then he hangs up and stands on the street corner like a crushed sheet of paper

Sometime in the afternoon he returns and seems to be a girl maybe eighteen-years-old, but  somehow the same…hi, remember me, she asks…sure I do, come in and we talk for a while

Her voice is incomplete like light rain upon dry land and she wants to know if I can recommend a good psychiatrist

I give her Dr. Pablo’s address and when she leaves, I can once again feel the minnow gods lifting me out of the wet shadow of the river, my emotions a strange cadence

Later that afternoon, after her session with Dr. Pablo, she returns, but is somehow older

She’s happy that he’s a psycho-therapist, they discussed ketamine and yoga

After she leaves I steam beets and greens and read a thick book of poetry by a man who was tortured because of his politics, his gnarled hands changed him into a heartless judge of people, he’s dead now, so the poems are speaking to me from an incurious time very, very far to the west of Malverde

During the night she calls and asks if she can come over, I tell her it’s almost 2 a.m., but no problem and then she’s suddenly there behind a mask upon the wall…the cool breeze moving the curtains…she’s over thirty for sure and we talk about the book of poetry I’m reading and her plan to work in a zoo because animals don’t judge people and she thinks the world is going to end soon, so why not help beautiful animals before everything is destroyed like the hands of the bitter, dead poet

Dawn arrives speaking of monsters that rip apart the children of South Sudan and then she says she’s depressed, needs to go to an all-night store and buy liquor

After she leaves I know I will never see her again

I fall asleep just as the birds are coming to life and they enter my thoughts and I sound like a violin playing the song of the little girl I know so well…her soft skin, her sad eyes and then the song ends in that spot where everything grows, changes, and dies beneath the rainbow light of Malverde days

7 thoughts on “The Little Girl

    1. Hi Mary,

      Hope you are well. How is family and your writing? Things in Mexico are okay, if you don’t count the 400,000 dead and missing since 2006. Jan is helping me with new book. It is called Malverde Days. Trying to finish the thing right now. Good luck and BT seems like such a long time ago. Did you republish? Thanks. Duke


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