CW: Implied violence
I lean out from the wooden porch railing. Dry flakes of white lead paint chip off and mix with the sweat under my grip. When I let go and jump, the wind promises to lift me into the sky, far above the house shingled in gray asbestos tiles, above the tar rooftops and hills thick with Virginia pine. I soar, leaving behind the shattered wine bottle. Leaving behind the sound of frozen meatloaf slammed, with my mother’s two hands and tears, onto the kitchen table.
But gravity is stronger than all the hope in my 10-year-old body, and the ground reminds me I can’t fly. The hard shells of black walnuts leave scratches and bruises on my arms. Soft grass stains the knees of my pants.