This particular boy liked the ends of rainbows. One of his favorites: taking a bottle of contraband (Mom’s) Wild Turkey and setting up camp in a rainstorm. He let it rain on him, slicking back black hair like a penguin’s coat, glossing his face and raincoat and swelling into little ponds on the upturned leaves near his feet. He’d drink and watch and sometimes he thought about things, like girls at his high school, their long, coltish legs and the polychromatic Band-Aids they wore. He thought about what girls felt like and whether there was a word for being soft and angular and warm all at once. They reminded him of midnight and the dark shatter-glass sky on cold and clear nights and those in-between things like the crests of waves or the polka dots you see after just getting your photograph taken. He knew he was none of these things—he lacked the prerequisites. Also: he knew he needed to stop picking at the scabs that ran like garlands from wrist to elbow. These were the shallow graves he dug in his skin. Hiding places for things that bit during the day, that drew something thicker than bathroom sink blood. He knew rainbows formed directly opposite the sun, so he bought an expensive compass when he first got serious about chasing them. But the gold particulars of light, he realized, don’t come with directions.
Mary B. Sellers is pursuing her MFA in Fiction at Louisiana State University. Originally from Jackson, MS, she now lives in Baton Rouge with her dog, Daisy Buchanan. This past year, she was the editorial assistant at The Southern Review. Important activities include: drinking wine and eating tacos on a regular basis. She wants to be a mermaid when she grows up and has recently taken up crafting (a la friendship bracelets) for its therapeutic benefits. Check out her Etsy store, Moon Puck and at her blog: Wordswitches and stalk her publicly at: Twitter @murbysell and Instagram @murbysell