A journal of narrative writing.
My Child Not Mine: First Presbyterian, South Street

Listen to My Child Not Mine: First Presbyterian, South Street
read by Gary L. McDowell

The doors aren’t oak, but they are heavy to open, heavy, even, to close. Tonight the city is full of heavy doors. The boys on the corner of South and Rose play catch with a hatchet or shuffle their feet to the honking horns: the boys are the cars no one else is driving. Tonight it is cold finally, the first cold of this autumn: the weeds of the vacant lot have withered since mid-summer when they stretched toward the church, followed the setting sun to the stone circles carved high above on the tower, the stones cut years ago with slow blades of harder stones. And across the street, the Indian burial grounds, the boys: head-dressed or nude—or both—and the headstones now barely darkened of time’s night, of the crow’s flight west over black, iron fences, a gate adorned with goose feathers, dried pork rinds, or cored apples still red-fleshed and veined—the boys and their seeing and their time and their sunlight. Seeing requires nothing but a tongue, nothing but an expired parking meter, a young intellectual sitting alone on the church steps, a book cradled in his hands, and suddenly I’m a door to what I fear most: something like headlights or mornings when I wake up sweating, trying to lift him from my legs.