:: Article


By Kim Chinquee.

Lime in my glass, in my summer sweater, I examine the masonry, feeling slobber on my knuckle. The stones are green and blue and purple, like I was once, when I woke to the alarm of a hammer. There is nothing on my hand but the leftover of my bath salts, one of the many scents I get for Christmas from my mother. I picture hands coming, the shake of the wrist, my husband’s face once kind, with cloudy eyes and hints of eucalyptus. He’d never met my father, but with that same fierce look, they could have been one.

I have resorted to an island, where the sun is nearly constant, and I walk in shoes that keep my toes out. I sit outside, at a counter with a breezeway, here, at a stand by the sea, where I can order nips of peach, coming with umbrellas. Here, I am alone, watching all the passers. Young couples, pushing hefty strollers. Babies crying, sleeping, giggling in slings. Old men, women, left with leaning posture. Further, a man my age also stands alone, looking to the water, over an edge, and then across the way, I see a woman with a zillion-dollar purse, a big-eyed small dog with his ears out.

I move to a bench, hearing yells, the shot. My husband, who is dead now. I look out to the water, seeing people floating all over the place.

I get close. I wade. I wave, putting my feet in.


Kim Chinquee is the author of the collections Oh Baby and Pretty. She is an associate professor at Buffalo State College.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Tuesday, July 5th, 2011.