Chemistry

Picture Credits: Feliciano Moya López

Boy has brown eyes, brown hair, and a
two-piece green-white pencil box with a hinge on one end. If you hold the
outer bit at the hinge end, you can swing the inner bit out all the way.
You could never lose just one bit and have to explain why. It’s cool. 

Boy has a brown voice too, but with
golden spangles that pop up at random. You don’t see them coming, and
suddenly they’re there. My brother says it sounds like the lab test
for lead. Plumbum. 

Boy catches flies. Mosquitoes. Bugs.
Spiders. A grasshopper one time.

Boy takes out his pens, pencils,
eraser, sharpener, 6” ruler — lays them out on the desk. Tears out a sheet
of notepaper, folds it in half lengthwise, and then once again. Places it
inside the pencil box, tucks the edges. Places the day’s catch inside.
Swings the lid closed. 

In his plumbous (valency two),
sometimes plumbic (valency four), voice, Boy offers it to me: innu njaan
naale nee. My turn today, and tomorrow, yours. I see this written on
the sides of hearses sometimes. 

I give Boy my antelope tooth, but
that is another story.