Into an empty plastic lard bucket grandmother throws the purple hulls of peas their eyes socked in at birth. Grandfather skins the squirrels he shot in the Ozarks and remembers the coon he barbecued on Christmas. Their only son drinks small bottles of vodka in a clean stall before pissing and planting a new crop of potatoes on his wife’s face.
Their baby wants to be a football player when he grows up. She makes him seven meatballs two more than his usual portion with spaghetti and crushed tomatoes. After sex her husband’s body is wet with white eyes and stink. The morning after marriage, she sees him shaving for the first time the mirror knife coming with foam is too sharp for his new skin.
During his sleep, she draws a cross on his neck; it bleeds above the gold one kissed after grace. Her silver teddy perfumed with talc fills with processed air. Her baby’s head rests on their suitcase; his voice drips with sleep: When will we be at grandmother’s? Her voice plum black: New Year’s Day my love. New Year’s Day.
Myronn Hardy, who received the BA degree in English literature with honors from the University of Michigan, is currently studying for the MFA in creative writing at Columbia University.