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Gina Keicher

Family Reunion

 

I take a memory and bury it like the dead thing it is. I kiss the dirt and say, “There there, dead thing. I do not miss you nearly as much as I miss everything I have not yet buried.” And then I miss my dead thing like I’d miss a tooth abducted from under my pillow, so I dig up the fossilized memory, present it to the master of relatives who says, “Ah, yes, there’s that…” I say, “Oh, the triumph of the family gathering. How nice to be all together again.” Then, someone tells me how wrong I am, how wrong I remember these days. But then we are on a bus and it does not matter who remembers how because everyone’s got a fun safari hat on their head but me and I am clutching my dead thing, steering at the same time. In fossil country, it is not safe to drive with the windows down. All my passengers complain that their fun safari hats blow out the windows. Animals come in the car uninvited. Hands extend bodiless from the back of the woods. The Hands reach into the driver’s seat, separate my limbs from my torso and teach them the opportune moment to leap at cars on dirt roads. I wait against the trees for crescendo or absolute quiet as I imagine my torso driving my family to the beach on that electric bus. Not until the Hands mention it, do I give a second thought to the potential impact of a chorus, my family clutching their hats by the chin straps that ripple like sails in the wind between the windows.

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