THE MOON IS FULL, as the magnet pulls iron-filings from the beach where my boy threw it into the sand. “I’d like to pull Mama through the keyhole,” he says, “but Mama’s sick.”
“Mama is sick,” I say, “and you don’t have a big enough magnet.”
“Some days she’s just a bed,” he says. “And other days she’s running around like a fucking cartoon.”
“Shhhhh,” I say. “Watch your mouth.” The boy is only nine.
“Mama says it’s ok to curse if you have something worth cursing about.”
“There’s always something worth cursing about.”
“Look!” he says. “at them waves.” The moonlight dances on the crests, but a million flashlights can’t fill a black hole. “I’d like to lay on ‘em and ride to heaven,” he says.
He pulls the fine black sediment off the magnet with his fingers, then drops the magnet, cleans it then drops it again. “It’s like growing hair,” he says. “Hair that’s tough to take care."
"Tough to take care of..."
She’s taking her medicine, right?” he says.
“Yeah…so that she won't see heaven in some people, hell in others….we were lucky, we were only the earth last time.”
“I hate when the ambulance comes for her.” He tosses the magnet into the ocean.
“It’s ok….” Suddenly I forget his name. “Shit,” I say.