Jack White, MI

by S. Makai Andrews

The cheese smells like vomit. The streets are lined with soaked cement that looks like bruises. The rain is gone now but my wet hair reminds me that it’s left its mark.  Men with white hair bring out meat covered in grape leaves, which sends me running to the bathroom because rotting flesh is even worse than mold.

The streets are a tangle of old churches and my friend tells a story of a day when she was in the middle of a danger zone. One shooter. One parking lot. She was under the car with an old man and when they survived he asked her to kiss him. He didn’t have any teeth.

With destruction comes repopulation.

The lake looks like Tahiti and the sirens in the back of my mind are numbed by lapping waves and boat exhaust. Kid Rock is playing from a boat covered in sloth and warm beer
cans. My ears are underwater. This is the last time I’ll be relaxed for two years, I remind myself. I was right.

I jog by a dead deer on my run.

In the river my friend gets her foot stuck under a boat. We’re tubing and the pontoon
towing us doesn’t realize. I grab onto the metal to push her away and pray for relief. The
motor is on. Anchor my foot on the boat so that both of us have to ice limbs with beerbottles when we get out. The skin is bruised.

Their cat died.

The speakers blow in the basement that smells like mildew. Mountain Dew. Pancake batter dusts our veins and we blow smoke out of our eyelids. We collect childhood memories in leather bags and spit old laughs in tin cans. The kind they bake hobo bread in, where they collect the leftover paint from cars. We clutter on wet rugs like bees in a hive and they find us in the morning wrapped in wool blankets and the drinks we used to watch them sip.

Author Biography: S. Makai Andrews was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her work was recognized in multiple genres in the Scholastic Arts and Writing Competition, and has been published in The Noisy Island and Beautiful Minds, among others. In the future she hopes to further her studies in writing and psychology.