written by: Nikki Williams
The boy grips his graduation prize as he spurns the MC’s tight embrace. Heat rises in the swarming ceremony, clings to his skin, his palms pressed into khakis. A pair of eyes locks fastly on his, round and shifting. Holding the gaze, the woman sifts through her purse, quietly brings out a new pack of mints.
She is too pleased when she offers some to Dr. & Mrs. in her row.
She has already reneged when she leans over, beaming at both.
She tucks away her sweets, then the couples’ flinty stares, the boy’s anxious air, slowly as though they’re delicate, alive. They fold like a tent into her yellow suede clutch, swallowed in its kiss-lock depths.
Later she’ll review each, freeze them with smoke and mirrors, press until they spread — chuck the boy’s folks into hellfire, rake the steely couple over coals.
Somewhere out in the gold dawn is the shrill song of a canary – ruffled feathers bright as new silver, beak never quite shut.