By Aaron White
Your naked feet suspended sugary off the edge of the porch swing. It was painted as white as your skin. Your head rested in my lap. I tied knots in your honeysuckle-scented hair and read aloud from the newspaper. Somewhere in North Carolina, turkey vultures swarmed a quiet neighborhood and preyed on pets. We laughed and speculated neat squares of yard sporting tall, trimmed trees overtaken by black coagulations as big as children. I cocked my head and crossed my eyes, the caricature of a dead dog, my pink tongue poked comically from my mouth. You puckered your lips and threw the newspaper to the ground. I apologized and we tried to shake the image of a convulsing, black blot rooted firmly to the earth. You sat up and untangled your hair. I rubbed my neck red and our stomachs clawed their way into our burning throats, two hundred-twelve degrees of bubbling bile. A thick sorghum coated your sweet eyes. You said you had to go home. I watched as you hurried barefoot across the green grass toward your mother’s house. That night, I sweat through my sheets. I dreamt we were chased by nightmarish undulations. I dreamt of jerking, red heads and sharp beaks, a revelation spitting guttural, primordial hissings, hopping in ungainly unison. We held each other, cowering in fear of being overcome, of being eaten.