Betsy Seymour

Down here we deal only in exoskeletons. When my sister comes south I tell her this place is like Vegas, it's a freak show, don't look at the ground. When the roach crawls between the grout-less tiles in my house, she runs down the stairs of my porch and I tell her, keep your eyes up, kid. The men painting my neighbor's house green is heaving. It is 101 degrees and this is my sister's vacation. My street is covered in crushed Bud Light cans and shattered bottles. The boys next door act nothing like the boy-next-door. When my father comes to visit he swears he can hear the highway 15 miles north and I whisper to my sister that he thinks he can hear a dog whistle. He doesn't turn around. Outside of my house is a ravine that used to hold train trestles but now acts like a ditch where men from the section 8 building down the street throw the old dryers they can't sell for scrap metal.