Dagger

Dagger

Andrea Lynn Koohi

Life is chaos and crumpled clothing leaking from suitcases on the floor. We’re staying in a room at my mother’s friend’s place because there’s nowhere else to go. I don’t know where our furniture went, or the box of toys I taped in haste, or my mother who left while I slept last night. I have a mattress on the floor. I brought my cactus, our cat, my CD player, and outside the window I can see it now – the feather-light arrival of my favourite season. My body jumps just after my heart, and I slide the window open to breathe the change. I hold out my hand to the falling snow, the friend I’ve been waiting so fervently for, the joy that was certain to come, to stay. But then: a dagger falls in the center of my palm; I yank my hand back inside the room, gaze at the pool of red that’s forming, wonder at the compression of pain into something so small. I’m angry and I cry, and someone I don’t know stands in the doorway and asks what happened. I tell her an icicle fell on my hand and she laughs a little and says I’ll be fine, says she might have a Band-Aid inside her purse. But I won’t be fine because Winter did this, and how could it do this when I loved it so? When did it join ranks with all the rest? The next day it snows as I walk to school, fresh layers on the ground like icing sugar. Thick flakes glisten, fall gently for me, but still I feel the throb beneath the bandage on my palm, so I don’t put my heart out, just keep my eyes down, scour the sugar for nails and glass.

Andrea Lynn Koohi

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