President Kennedy has been shot. I am in kindergarten, but they close school early and send us home. My mother is coming to meet me, and I see her a short distance ahead in the road. She is wearing a pale pink shirtdress. Her coat, hastily pulled around her shoulders, is unbuttoned even though the day is damp and raw. She is crying as she walks toward me. Tears roll down her cheeks making long grey tracks in her make-up. She wears no lipstick, or perhaps she has worn it all off by pressing her lips in grief. Suddenly the sky above us seems too large and pale, as if all color has bled away, as if we could fall up into it. As if gravity, too, might fail us. She cups her hand around my shoulder, and we walk unsteadily home.
—Excerpt from down they forgot, forthcoming from Lilith House Press in 2021.