A woman with a gun and a badge studies me as she hands out sheets of paper, wanted posters with a drawing of man who fucked someone without permission. I take one, examine the sketch to make sure it is not me.

The nose is different. The shape of the eyeholes is similar but the angles of the brow and cheeks, if you look closely, are off a bit. I have nice lips — let's be honest — but his are better. I bet he kissed her. Do you think she kissed back?

My age is within the range listed under the picture but he might be a little shorter. Or taller. Not by much, either way. I cannot prove my whereabouts at that time, on that day, but maybe I was in bed.

Our builds are the same and he carries a backpack just like mine. There must be a lot more than two of these backpacks. His hoodie covers his ears and hair — and, yes, I flip up my hoodie sometimes, but only when it is cold. That is crazy, wearing a hoodie with the hood over your head in this heat.

And my skin is not that color, not even close, but it is hard to be certain of anything. I do not see myself as others do.


7 x like a billion = how much I love you:

ty bluesmith said...


TC said...

"..without permission"

"I do not see myself as others do"

These the two key lines for me, the first suggesting a crucial (necessary) disorientation, which is then confirmed by the second.

The hard edge and lack of compromise in the work, here and all through, very impressive.

Mariana Soffer said...

Very nice literature, great text, I read it and felt inmediatelly inmersed in the situation that was going on, it reminded me of the fargo movie, have you seen it? Full of sordid and hiddden/ironic winks.
Not the image because the scenary did not belong to that snow covered town, but them staying at the police station seemed to be a similar image than the one you told on your story here.

Matt DeBenedictis said...

Every line in this is key and a fucking face smash.

~otto~ said...

Thanks everybody. I appreciate the kind words. I just spent 12 weeks in a class that was pretty intense. Six hours every Monday, and my teacher told me over and over and over that every word, every syllable counts. Maybe it's sinking in a bit.

Chick said...

Wow...your class is paying off...are you published anywhere else too?

That Guy said...

the world is yours. i'm just a squirrel trying to get a nut!

Rock on.

and thanks. your words mean more than you know.



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