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N O N F IC T IO N

“A thin, wispy column of smoke was barely visible against an equally gray sky.”

that darkness. But I wanted to know. We stayed there until I got restless and Rachael Ann suggested that we try to get closer. We moved forward slowly, wanting to stay out of the firefighters’ way, until we were only a one-lane road away from the cavernous entryway. I think a lot about doing crazy things. Then, I thought about darting ahead of Rachael Ann and running through that doorframe into whatever was beyond it: maybe a burned rug in a burned living room, maybe a charred picture frame or dining room table or backpack. I wanted to press my hand onto the sliding glass door covered with chalky black soot just to know what it felt like and to see, through my handprint, what confusion or alarm looked like on firefighters’ faces. One of our friends lived in the townhouse behind us. She came out of her house asking how to get her car out of the parking lot so she could go to a meeting. I shrugged, but Rachael Ann told her how to navigate around the trucks. By then the smoke had died down. We trudged back towards our kitchen. I drive past that black hole of a doorway every day on my way to class. Sometimes I swerve on the road, craning my neck to stare into it. Then I grip the wheel with both hands and imagine what it would be like to crash my car into a roadside tree while I wasn’t paying attention. I stare out of my icy windshield and imagine what it might feel like to be projected through it from the heated interior of my car into the chilly winter air and have it shatter into little hail-sized pieces of glass from the impact of my body. I wonder if the siren of an ambulance would sound different with the knowledge that it was coming for me, and I wonder if I would be able to hear that siren at all. But I don’t crash. So I don’t know.

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Profile for Ivy Leaves Journal of Literature & Art

Ivy Leaves Journal of Literature & Art — Vol 93  

The Ivy Leaves Journal of Literature & Art is an annual student publication at Anderson University in Anderson, SC. The journal has served a...

Ivy Leaves Journal of Literature & Art — Vol 93  

The Ivy Leaves Journal of Literature & Art is an annual student publication at Anderson University in Anderson, SC. The journal has served a...

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