Vehicle

by nicolecallihan

Tell us what you know about the heart, I write on the board. The boy from Senegal, the one who put up drywall in Bed-Stuy in last summer’s heat takes out his mechanical pencil. I have never been a fan of the sleek, plastic objects, opting more often for yellow wood. I remember buying my seventh grade science teacher a pen that was marketed as having been “used by the astronauts.” He worried about me. He once stopped to get gas when he was driving me home. People will try to take advantage of you, he said, and he said it in the way that said he was making a conscious decision not to take advantage of me. He would just take me home, he seemed to be telling himself; he would make sure I got in safe, wave. Those days, I took too many rides. I don’t know where my parents were, or if they shrugged their shoulders when other people complained about shuttling children around. These days, I use a pen. Black, inky. I dip its tip in the well of my heart and hope for things to say.

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