by MELISSA JEAN
You are my dodder; your long orange stems choke me and steal my nutrients, your white flowers grasp and cling. Now we must grow together, for I am the plant you’ve parasitized. If I die, you will cross to another plant, for your survival lies in your dependence. And even if I survive, here I am, rooted, stuck; there is nowhere for me to go.
The sun had barely cracked yellow on the horizon when we left the trailer park. I made a joke to Lansky. I don’t remember what I said exactly, but he laughed so hard he damn near fell out of the truck. What I do remember is how white his teeth were when he smiled, and how thin the bones in his arm felt when I grabbed his wrist to keep him from falling, and how my hand wrapped around in full—from thumb to pinky.
Two days before the winter solstice, an epiphany pierced Bettina’s parietal lobe and angled straight down into her thumping heart. When it happened, she had been clomping around in her backyard wearing a moss-colored dress and canary yellow boots, inhaling the view of her hardscrabble lot.
A half-open bag of potato chips had never plagued anyone so much as it plagued Porter Wesley. It wasn't so much the bag or its contents (Porter indulged in most snack foods), but rather it was the newfound inhabitants of the bag that Porter swore would give him an aneurism. Yes, November had blessed his beaten-down 1988 hatchback with a colony of ants.