Luke smothers his face in reddened hands. Luke plays peek-a-boo with his orphaned eyes. His daddy says: don’t touch me. His daddy says: you are not my little girl, so he touches himself wonderingly, like a blind man exploring an infant’s face. He remembers an old joke: if someone shouts in an empty forest and no one hears, did he make a sound? Luke is still afraid of the dark after all these years, because he never found monsters under the bed and thinks the world is too damn lonely. A wise man once told him: you’re weak but that is nothing to be ashamed of. Luke heads to 7-Eleven but never gets there because he is scared of people. Luke likes to think that ostracism is derived from the ostrich. The ostrich, which sticks its head in a sandy, self-made grave.
Emily Yin lives in the small town of Acton, Massachusetts. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in The Eunoia Review, The Riveter Review, and The Rising Phoenix Review, among others.