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July 1, 2011 | Fiction

Jacob

JA Tyler

Jacob photo

It is raining and Jacob is a boy.

Jacob is a boy and once climbed a tree and once fell from a tree and once, when he was up in a tree and not falling from a tree, he pretended to have a gun in his hands and he pretended to sight the gun across a field and he pretended that what he was doing was plucking the children off each their heads, imagining red exclamation points.

Jacob is a boy.

Across a field now it is raining and there are no children running in or around or across. The water is running. Jacob can splash his feet in the puddles. Jacob can make of the pools a stir. Jacob can run and run.

What Jacob is running from is not rain. What Jacob is running from is a thing like water that seeps.

Jacob has memories.

It is raining. There was rain. There has always been rain.

Jacob fell to the ground once when he was in a tree and he did not spill open his head when he hit, only rattled a shoulder from a socket, only jarred loose the memories that Jacob he had.

Jacob thinks of the world as a ball. Jacob would like to take the ball of the world and pitch it into the ocean. Jacob would like the rain to keep coming until there is nothing but rain. Jacob would like for there to be no more classrooms and no more desks. Jacob would like very much for the water to cover up his mouth and his nose and his eyes. Jacob would love to be a boy in a body that doesn't float. Jacob would like to be sinking.

It is raining and the rain is gathered wetted sun.

In the rain are notices written to Jacob that say This is a boy that needs to be vacated soon, a boy in need of this a system flush. Jacob has read these notice signs in the rain when it falls and he is laying on the ground looking up to the sky and wishing that clouds were  buildings hurtling bricks down at him.

It is raining and the rain is gunfire the rain is hail the rain is filled with bombs and when the bombs hit the field around Jacob they do not explode. They sit, these bombs. They sit until Jacob he picks them up and blankets himself with them. he curls up in a corner of the world and puts all of these unexploded casings next to himself, laces his arms and legs and face with them, nestles into their soft ticking as if it was a mother or a memory of a mother or a rebirth from a mother that did or would stroke his hair.

Jacob is a boy and boys sometimes, even in rain, dream of mothers.

Jacob's dream of his mother is the dream of climbing a tree. Jacob's dream of his mother is falling out of a tree. Jacob's dream of his mother is the space between his shoulder's bone and his shoulder's socket, where they used to kiss.

Jacob's mother was a woman. Jacob's mother was a cloud. Jacob's mother was a dream in which a boy climbed and fell a out of a tree.

In the clouds are rain. In the rain are trees. In the trees are a million miniature Jacobs all climbing and falling from them.

It is raining and in the rain is the rain is the rain is the rain.

Jacob sometimes pretends a gun in his arms, cocked to his shoulder, resting the sight against his eye and the crosshairs again the temples of children running with a football running with a soccer ball running with a basketball running away from themselves when they are no longer children but boys and girls and the rain is always coming.

Jacob is a boy nested into ticking bombs.

Jacob is a timer hugging himself.

Jacob closes his eyes and mis-remembers a mother. Jacob closes his eyes and thinks of feathers in wind. Jacob closes his eyes and imagines what it would be again to have climbed a tree and fallen from a tree and to be looking up shaken and broken to a sky filled with sun and head loosened of its mother-memories.

It is raining and the bombs go off.

It is raining.

Jacob is a million little Jacobs all searching out trees in rain.

There is rain.

It is raining.

image: Valerie Molloy


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