Like Lungfish Getting Through the Dry Season
Michelle Reale

He came right through the front door, his arm in a sling.
A car took off behind him. Others followed: yellow, green and blue, the colors of a bruise.
She was surprised to see him. Nothing about him was familiar, though she remembered his birth like a shot from a gun.
He put his hand up to keep her away before he noticed she had not approached.
He was talking about food and the least you could do, which always seemed easy. The least.
Her hands were like big catcher's mitts, her face like dry Balsa wood.
She spread her fingers in front of her face. Her gestures were like currency.
She told him she'd stripped down to essentials.
My essentials are not your essentials, he said, his arm swinging to and fro.
She shrugged like a child scolded, but for what?
He squeezed his eyes shut. People shuffled on the hot sidewalk outside with purpose.
The dog barked. He flinched.
She mentioned that the sky was more purple than anyone could ever remember.
And God, this heat.
A dog yelped and cried like a wrecking ball through the still air.
Go to him, he said.
She skipped out the back door like a sprite.
She would read their futures in his fur.