Tito Manuel and a Boy Try To Escape the InvasionAlbert Abonado
Boy, you are fat, as if I have slung an entire province of rice fields over my shoulder. I feel you slouch into the bullets around us, hear the air in your chest pass into mosquitoes. I know then I could drop you on to the gravel and you would understand the necessity of my decision. I lifted you because you looked as if a water buffalo plowed through you when the men arrived and you could not find a single mother among them. Let me tell you a story about men made of smoke. Eventually, the sky takes them and all we remember is no larger than the dark smudge we receive on our foreheads for Ash Wednesday. Had you survived, I would have shown you how to make our words from smoke. For now, I carry you a little further for the quiet your company suggests, envious you cannot hear the people around us snapping their bodies against the trees.
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