I lay on the bed. Theirs still. At least, Jackie’s. I got comfortable. Took out old Jumbo. Who would dare cut you, I said. She saw me and fled. The plane shuddered. My wife knocked, asked if I’d gotten lost.
I came out and sat in my seat. We watched the same oil rig movie. She was further along. The birds and sands stained. Good Texans in the water.
Dad had camped at a hotel to set up Family’s!The shell had held a dozen small chains after his father quit the lease, culminating, at last, in a Shawarma Sons. He’d died making it Midwestern again. Red tiles, range hoods, toy capsule machines with sticky soldiers. I paid the freezer company balance. Told the broker we would chip off the signs.
We tried in our room. Morning Plaything. She rolled to her side. She refused to move. All was permitted. Clubbing her with old Jumbo. Jumbo against her asshole. We were outside of time, she said, expectations. I said he was feeling shy since Dallas. Mentioned blue pills as a joke: something our podcasters sold. But wouldn’t they stress my heart?
I grabbed Jackie’s arm. Just for a minute or two. The other hand–massive, Hill Country meat–clutching Caroline and John-John. If only our men had been made smaller. Less vigorous. She said she understood about the bed; I’d been thrown into all this. I needed rest. She led us outside, down the driveway. Dad’s second casket was more to her modest eastern tastes. We’d dumped the bronze one out the plane’s cargo bay, trusted it sank.
Behind us, an officer led Black Jack, snorting, caparisoned, boots backwards in the stirrups. Who doesn’t ride the riderless horse at its funeral, I asked my wife. She didn’t listen. He was really something magnificent. My prefrontal twin bent down and dabbed shit on dress I’d picked for her to ruin. BJ strayed too close to the white caisson horses. Rearing up, excited, you could see the piece he had on him. What name could you give it– a piece like that, whipping. I made my wife promise, when my heart goes, when it’s my turn. Stop, she said. I said, You get Black Jack for me.
Doug Ross is a writer and photographer based in Brooklyn. His work has appeared in X-R-A-Y Magazine, jmww, and New World Writing.