“About the Girl”

Published in Flash: The International Flash Fiction Magazine 6.2 (October 2013).

About the Girl

walking down the side of the road during suburban rush hour—saffron and bulgar in a bag hanging from her fingertips, hair wrapped in the same silk her mother used to wear—only her rosewood-colored face and hands revealed from behind a dress of black cotton. As she steps carefully along the road’s gravel edge, she wonders about what she looks like as the breeze from the cars pushes the fabric of the dress against her. She imagines what the wind shows the drivers trapped in traffic—a shadow of her naked form—and smiles just barely, feet moving softly forward, as in the minds of the men she sees, she allows herself to dance—moving to the rhythms of hips and hands—and she is stunning—turning on her toes, opals nestled and gold threads braided into her hair, her glistening skin under lacy mist—looking in these men’s minds the way she will feel, she knows, when she finally dances with him—whoever he may be, me or the guy in the orange Mustang, Azhar in the neighborhood two blocks over or someone she has yet to meet. She makes a left onto the street where she lives—her hair showering down her bare back—and stumbles for a step—my hands rushing out to catch her, lift her back up and follow her body’s movements—before regaining her footing. At her house, she turns again, walking up to the stoop—her shadow still dancing and smiling, revealing the goddess just beneath her skin—before pausing to smooth the fabric over her head and step gently through the doorway into the sound of her grandmother’s singing.

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