“Daddy go ahead and heat that burger up!” The daughter yells from the yard. She pumps air into the black slug of her bicycle tire, wet from afternoon rain. She’s wearing a hi-lighter pink tourism shirt from Boca Raton. She has long purple nails the color of casino carpet. There’s a big scar above her eye from when this guy beat her with a statuette of the Holy Virgin over some coke money. “What coke money?” She had said. She hears the sound of her daddy’s Rascal whirring, accented by the popping of grease. She thinks of the meat and hums Led Zep as she works to pumping. A mini van drives up to the yard. She can only see a shimmering gold grill smiling from the darkness, peeking over the cross-faded window. “Dale, I ain’t playing right now. Get the hell out of here.” The grill laughs blue smoke out. The rapper on the radio is counting out digits. Her daddy appears in the doorway, his houndstooth baseball cap pulled over his eyes, his face a tangle of oxygen cords. “My daughter ain’t no whore,” he wheezes. “My baby girl is one of a kind.”

Blank White
Thurber Carnival
James Thurber