Canoe by Jessica Gruenstein

The blood was dark in my green and white underwear that was too big on me. At least that explained the stomachache, but I was the only one who ever raised my hand. I picked at chicken and ran like mad. The counselor told us we would have sex when we were older. Everyone laughed, and a dark wave tipped us slowly into the water. We went in. They were talking about things I understood but not to me. I told my mother I wanted to keep the door closed. We kicked and I thought about praying but god and I were taking some time off. At the end of the day I would let my backpack fall off my shoulders and put my face in the pillow. I had not touched the piano in months. The orange flag was not visible enough in the fog for me to believe it was real. Water came out of my body from all sides. When the phone rang, all I could think of was "I do not know who I need."

  Illustration by Lily Ha and Dora O'Neill

Illustration by Lily Ha and Dora O'Neill