The shirtless boys on Snow Street have sharp sticks. They jut ‘em up as we walk by.
What they’re offering: Rot. Overripe, bad juice dribbling down dirty wood into dirty fists curled tight around the only things they know. Red as a beating heart, brown as earth, stuck on the tip of a birch branch.
The bottom level of their house is bombed-out. Fire, meth explosion, bedbug infestation? Raccoon chewed? Firecracker accident? Now covered in blue tarp, held down at the edges by blocks of Jasper rock. They jab their sticks.
“Wannan’ apple? Your kid wannan’ apple?”
I shake my head. We have fresh Pink Ladies in the crisper.
They have un-running snowmobiles. Four-wheelers. Peeling tar paper siding, shingles like dead and missing teeth, burn marks from whippin’ shitties in the driveway. The Billionaire’s campaign signs.
I count seven houses between us. Once home, I wash my hands.
I think of them at home, smiling, devouring their stab-apples in the blue flicker of TV, thinking them sweet as American pie.
Molly Bonovsky Anderson is from central Minnesota. She studied Philosophy, Art History, and English at Northern Michigan University. Her work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Passages North, Penduline Press, Big Fiction, Driftwood Press, The Flexible Persona, Burrow Press Review, gravel, and other print and online journals. She lives in Upper Michigan with her husband and son, and is fond of train whistles and lawn ornaments.