On Sunday

by Summer Lichtenberg


Taylor calls to give us the news.

The girl I was gonna take on a date this Friday,
The blonde one? we ask.
Yes, he says.
Well, she and her friend were driving home from the bars in Pacific Beach, and they
hydroplaned, their car rolled down the side of a hill and into a creek, she was held
upside down
by the car,
upside down.

She died
by drowning.

We sit there a moment with our eyes bulging out of our heads.

I imagine we look like those rubber chickens you could squeeze the soul out of—
you know, the ones with the soundboxes that scream
as their skulls are crushed
for amusement.

What an awful way to die
we think,
as if death is ever cliché, as if death is ever
what we expect.

Kayla goes into her room, and shuts the door—
the click of her lock deafening in the silence, deafening
as I drag my living, breathing, being up the thick carpet stairs.

I lay the heft of my insignificance
on a tempurpedic mattress.

It’s drizzling:
peonies in the glass vase on the windowsill.

There's something stuck in the dryer.
Sirens wail, their distant
droning cry. Then more night,

more rain and wind, and in the morning,
somebody laughing.



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