We live near the naval air base where the Hindenburg went down, fell to pieces like a flaming piñata. Sometimes planes fly so low they shake the pictures on the walls, make them slip to show the holes I’ve hung them over. I don’t know what drives men to violence, bloodied knuckles. But I know how to hang a picture, I know how to dress a wound. When my son hears the planes, the backyard under siege, he drops his truck and searches for my face. A spray of earth cyclones his running feet. Body still in motion, fear melts from his eyes the moment they meet mine. By the time we embrace he is laughing. The plane is just a shadow overhead, something for our love to ricochet against. I will kiss the buds of my son’s knuckles. I will teach him to be tender. His love will cover up the holes in mine.
Elizabeth Muller is a New Jersey writer whose work has appeared in Catapult, Maudlin House, Rejection Letters, X-R-A-Y Lit, and elsewhere. She is a reader for Pidgeonholes, an unapologetic horse girl and an apologetic everything else. You can find her on Twitter @eawrites.