By Chloe DeFilippis

March 12, 2018


If I put my ear to the hardwood, will I hear the shuffle of his steps? The Velcro shoes? I never saw him with his socks off. I imagine his toes like his fingers: thin with long thick yellowing nails. "To grab things with," he told me, placing a penny on my tiny palm. His hands smelled like his reminders: keep loose change and birdseed on you at all times. His movements were slow and careful, deliberate and with purpose. I can see him, some days, sneaking across our front porch, pulling the chain of his homemade lock, the door only few can open. And I imagine, sometimes, lying down in the middle of his now-gutted kitchen, pressing my cheek to the cold, dusty hardwood, feeling his presence move all around me, that he's still here.

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