I was Four When My Mother Decided
to try kill herself in a Tampa trailer park.
Sand spun around her feet as she called
one of her sisters to let them know she
was leaving me alone to watch her.
She told me how she hated the taste
of charcoal. Some nights, I stare
into the wall at the end of my bed counting
specks in the shadows of street lights wrapping
around my feet, wondering what charcoal
tastes like, how there is no one for me to call,
and thinking about the story my mother
told me where her siblings left her
to die in a snowbank in Syracuse.
By Donald Paris
Donald Paris graduated from Queens University of Charlotte’s Creative Writing MFA program. His work has appeared in The Other Journal, Sonic Boom, and Public Pool. He can be followed on Twitter @DonaldParis