The girl on the news was one of us, one of a kind, one wrong move away from the graveyard, conducting conversations like a tree conducts lightning or an anarchist concocts explosives. Exposed to the elements, expected to fly, electing instead to hide in her head, she couldn’t decide if she was mirror or mirage, maker or monster, or marker burning in a night that threatened never to end. So, she pasted notices on lampposts, with a photo and a phone number, a phoney name and fantastic rewards. She recorded messages denying all knowledge to leave on her phone, and informed friends and family she was never leaving home. I sent flowers when she lived and sent flowers when she died, shredded all her letters, and tried to forget that I carried her touch like blown eggshells or full-blown stigmata. She was one more statistic that didn’t make the papers, didn’t make a wish, didn’t make peace with the pieces she left behind.




Oz Hardwick
Picture Nick Victor






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