Everything You Say Matters
We were so close to graduating but I didn’t have a salt-shaker with me. I clung
onto my friend’s arm the whole way there, not hearing the crickets in the trees.
The gravel was rough and my feet hurt. I was a small, wimpy thing. I had dreams of
camping outside a store on Black Friday and sweeping the whole thing clean.
A wave of my arm and just like that. It would all come down. But I had never been
to a store. I wouldn’t have known what to do. My friend was sweaty and a little gross.
We were only children. The trees were bare but I had never met a tree I could climb.
I’d never met an ant I liked, too scared for the blood on my hands. Even then I had
falling hair. Strands on the floor just like that. Hot air and just like that. I tried silk
pillows, silk towels, I tried everything. But there was too much fire inside me. I didn’t diet
so I bloated more every day. I was so close to the edge. I was losing hair, losing nails,
losing skin. And now I was graduating. I never told my friend how I felt. There wasn’t
anywhere I wanted to belong to except a settledness of the body. I wasn’t settled.
I couldn’t even climb a tree.
Abigail Chang reads “Everything You Say Matters”
Abigail Chang is a writer based in Taipei, Taiwan. Her work appears in the Citron Review, Gone Lawn, Gulf Stream, Parentheses Journal and elsewhere. Find her at twitter @honeybutterball