Photo by Rudri Bhatt Patel


by Charles W. Brice

Under that blinding sun
only a murder seemed right.

Was I the stranger or was it
the sunlight in Cheyenne

whose daggers penetrated every
corner of our house?

We looked so good—
our tiny living space

so much larger than
most of our friends’.

“We’re big fish in a small pond,”
my mother loved to say,

but there was no escaping
the sunlight that exposed

everything in our house. Sunrays
even invaded our basement where

I found the teeth in the rucksack
my father carried in Guadalcanal.

Even now I cannot imagine his pulling those molars
out of the mouths of dead Japanese soldiers.

My favorite room was the darkest
in our dwelling. We called it

the garbage room—where
we kept all the books.