The Incident


I’m reading at my desk in the library, the room at the center of our house, and we pulse together like a heartbeat. My mother dusts and shines the surfaces around me.

Krys chile raise yuh book, she says. I clap the opened Nancy Drew novel to my chest and recline in my chair. She hums to herself as she sprays then wipes the desktop. The gray laminate shines. Pulling myself back up, I remember how proud my father was the day he’d finished building this library for my sister and me, an entire room for studying, a luxury he didn’t have growing up.

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