Khalil’s tracksuit pants and T-Shirt hang from a branch like the tree’s trying them on. The roots of the tree want to slip on his repulsive socks. It holds both of his Adedas up, sunshine blazing through one rubber sole. But Khalil doesn’t care what the tree does with his off-brand sneakers.
Every time we stop walking he’s in the river.
Khalil was born with gills. Hovering over the crib, his father took engine oil and slicked Khalil’s neck every night with his mechanic hands until baby Khalil learned how to breathe human air. The gills slowly faded into flat skin. But Khalil never forgot the water.
I want to join him.
Half-dressed, the tree watches in envy.
Justin Sirois will be performing his work at WORMS on September 15.