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Published by Lit Hub's Crime Reads

January 2023

My sister and I sit outside the convenience store that’s perched where our sleepy street meets the main road in our Southeast Detroit neighborhood. There is a massive NO LOITERING sign directly above us, but we don’t know what loitering means, even as it’s intended to dissuade us from plopping down in our dirty jean shorts and worn flip flops, asking people who go inside if they can spare some change. It has only just occurred to us that this might be a way to earn money having had a stranger pitch in the extra ten cents needed to buy us two Slurpees that have turned our lips and tongues bright hues. My sister pockets the coins with a giddy, blue grin.

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Published by Belle Ombre

December 2019

On January 28, 2018 my mom dies for fourteen minutes.


My sister and I are first told it’s twenty, but the doctors will later correct themselves, pleased with that extra six minutes they spared her. We aren’t sure what difference that makes. But it seems important and so we catalogue it in our minds with all of the other small accomplishments and nods of gratitude. They don’t care about the rubble they’ve made of her rib cage or the purple kiss on her sternum from the six adrenaline shots they planted straight into her heart. She’s alive and that’s all that matters.

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