Amy Souza and Seth Leamer

Seth Leamer
Mylar Dirge”

Elm Street
By Amy Souza
Inspiration piece

This is what it’s like, boy, so keep your eyes open.

Where did that voice come from? Sounds like Mr. Woodhouse, but it can’t be; he’s dead. Been so a long time.

The wind is fierce, but I can’t feel it. The trees are moving, swaying, and inside them a face peers out at me. We don’t need words—it knows I’m here and I know it’s here, spying on us. I tell it through my thoughts, That’s not polite.

Gray slate everywhere I look, smooth and cold, immersed with secrets. I see the beginning—roots and seeds deep underground, and the soil, cool, comforting.

The Costas walk ahead of me on the path, and I hurry to catch up. They don’t acknowledge my hello, step right through me when I rush in front of them. Mrs. Costa is worried about their son. She wants to bring him to a doctor, but Mr. Costa says no, the stigma, then they decide to cook out for supper. I crave a hot dog, black and blistered from too much time on the grill.

A little girl, alone, stands near the stone wall bordering Five Acres, a caricature in a gown that flows to her ankles, her hair tied in a blue bow.

A rabbit hops up and starts to chatter. It expects me to understand. In the distance, a Mylar balloon shines in the air, tethered by a thin string but climbing higher and higher. I walk toward it and arrive at a stone the color of cantaloupe that stands up to my armpits. The dirt around the stone is freshly dug. The earth looks raw and clean. The balloon swishes overheard and I spy the creature among the trees keeping its eye on me. The Costas pass by again, not talking. The crunch of their sneakers on loose stones.

Above me, the balloon crinkles. I look up at it, then down to the stone in front of me. In its smooth surface I see myself, the way I look in pictures. I’m etched into the orange stone. The Mylar balloon starts falling fast toward the ground. My chest tightens and words appear in front of me, letter by letter: Steve, we miss you always.


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