Map of My Prehistory
My mother is coughing up half a lung while the bees
sex. She crawls hands-and-knees on the carpet and
thinks she is going to die and my brother is alive.
The knives don't look so sharp yet. I am too small
to touch. My mother's hair is abandoning her and soon
she stops wearing the wig to work. Her sister will
think she cured the death with her magic. Her cerealbox
smell. The world before me does not exist. It is
a story. My dad is alive. I have to remind myself
of this. The room remains even after I leave it. The
hair I lost is clotted somewhere. The stuffed cheetah is
roadkill now. My used tampons are in a landfill in
the midwest. I'm everywhere. Nothing shrinks in America,
land of the big, the hungry. James who
thought I was ugly loses his front tooth. Makes a
half-court shot. The mother of my first kiss goes
to jail. The moon is footprinted. My father has a child.
Dorris sleeps in pirouette in case she dies in her
bed. She calls when she turns eighteen, says hi, says
her name. She dies. The earthquake eats a dozen
buildings. The towers fall. The lock is loose. The
spiders in Maui are the size of my fist. Sacramento
floods. The waitress cuts her wrist. All the gold
is gone. I am arriving. I am here. I remind myself:
You are here.
Olivia Treynor is a Barnard College student from the upper half of California. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Southeast Review, Cutbank, Yemassee and elsewhere. She loves lakes but is scared of the ocean.