Disarticulated Life: the first sign, 1988

by William R. Soldan

The First Sign, 1988

Your kindergarten teacher starts sending you home with daily reports because you’ve been acting out. Disobeying. Being yourself.

You don’t know who else to be.

A scale from one to five: Fours and fives mean no discomfort but that which you feel inside; ones and twos mean the hand, the corner, the empty stomach; threes—threes are a gamble.

Your big sister—half sister—tries to help you prepare, holds the envelope up to the sun so that you might know your fate. But you never quite know, do you? And that much won’t change, even when so much does. This ritual will be the one by which you gauge so many things.

An envelope sealed tight, held against a blinding light.

 

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