Snowdrop White

by Parker Tettleton

    We light cigarettes, take turns putting them out on each other's arms, legs, anywhere hard without a mark. It's living, he says, it's better to know you're alive than feel nothing at all. My brother is two years older than you, I was thinking on Tuesday, he'll kick your ass. It's Friday. My brother's at work. My father and mother haven't moved in twenty years. He'll be over, just a second to snag the carton. The last house we lived in wasn't a house at all; it had ash marks on the carpet, forty stairs between the door and the parking lot, a police car outside every other night. My father would drink his old fashioned with a show of men in orange shooting ducks. My brother and I sat in our room with backs to the door, each other. The morning we left I stuck a post-it on my side of the closet, blank. I had stayed up all night forgetting: my parents are alive, my brother's girlfriend isn't round, my skin is snowdrop white besides a few brown freckles.