Kamby Bolongo Mean River named one of 25 Important Books of the 2000s by HTML Giant

KBMR was named one of 25 Important Books of the decade by HTML Giant. And was a Page One selection of New & Noteworthy Books by Poets & Writers Magazine.

Monday, December 5, 2011

No news today - Guest Post - Kim Chinquee


Listening to the rain thrumming on the windows, knowing her husband had probably had a backslide, she grabbed an orange from the bowl and peeled, imagined the wheels of the car somewhere in a ditch, or in another woman's driveway. It was past two and, being that they only had one car, she had no way of going anywhere herself, unless she took the bike out.

She turned on the porch light and looked out, at the tree weighted by the week of constant rainfall, the blanket of pecans on the ground below it. The phone in her robe pocket. She heard the baby singing from the next room, to a song of lambs and losses, and she went into the nursery, where the baby sat upright in his crib, said hello, as if he were six, or ten, or twenty. "Hello," he said. He was almost two now, too old for a crib, probably, and he hardly cried, ever.

"Your dad is gone," she said to the baby. She sat in the rocker and told the baby that his dad was out making millions so he could take them to the tropics. The baby stood in the crib and put his hands up to the rails, like the men she saw in jail those times she had to pick up her husband from the drunk tank. She lifted the baby, spun him, said maybe she'd call in sick in the morning, where she held babies in sizes of vegetables like eggplant, sticking them with needles, administering doses, telling truths and lies to loved ones. Now she told her baby it was time. The baby perked and called her dada then squirreled his way down and ran across the carpet to his stuffed bear in the corner.

She already had a bag packed. Two months before he'd stumbled in with blood on his chin, a bruise shaped up like a daisy, and when she tried to fix him, he gave her bruises of her own and then she went away until he came back for her the next week, saying he was clean and sorry and sober.

Now she did what she knew she was supposed to, speed dialing the number she'd gotten from the shelter, remembering what the woman had said about being home at times like these, when and if he got there. "It's time," she said to herself. “It’s time,” she said to her baby, toddler, son. She got dressed and she sang. She found a step and rocked there.

Kim Chinquee is the author of the collections Oh Baby and Pretty. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a Henfield Prize and has been published journals and anthologies including NOON, The Nation, Huffington Post, Conjunctions, Wilow Springs, Denver Quarterly, New York Tyrant, Fiction, American Short Fiction, The Mississippi Review, New Orleans Review, Best of the Web 2010, The Florida Review, Puerto del Sol, Salt Hill and others. Her website is www.kimchinquee.com

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