Tag Archive: hemming

Heat by Kyle Hemming

New York City is in the grips of a heat wave. White smoky demons rise from car radiators. Old women feint from dehydration, fall through manholes in the streets, sewers below sewers. Kat rescues one such woman. In the back booth at a McDonald’s, the woman paper-crowns Kat as Princess of the Speechless. She promises to be Kat’s hidden guardian. Kat has a dream of the woman turning into a Persian with emerald eyes, the same one she drew for Manga class. Slowly, the heat lifts from the streets. The sky is not a hollow drum. Kat is seized by a mania for lanky boys with green eyes. There is a space between night and day where New York City resembles crystal. Words are too heavy to float. Victims jump from windows and live to grow tall. In his apartment over a narrow street of stunted elms, a boy with rubber soles dances for Kat. In her new love, she stretches beyond sunrise and winks at a familiar cloud, as clear as her own sky writing across city walls.

Ninja by Kyle Hemming

I wake up with a scream.  Mine. I always try to travel light at night but this. . . On the pillow next to mine, Kat opens one eye then the other.  When did you shave your head? I ask, shaking like a newborn pup that dropped and landed in our bed.

Oh, some guy crept in last night and cut it. I think he was a modern ninja. He said he wanted to bring my chestnut locks to his master. His master thought chestnut was just for horses. There might be a ritual involved. Maybe even barter. My lock for seven of your dribbling goats that you promised could talk like big shit mountain gods. I couldn’t see much of him in the dark, but he was kind of cute dressed as a simple wood gatherer. Then he flew out the window like a skylark. Or maybe the floor opened up for him. I bet he could walk on water too. Maybe surf on a wave of my hair. I don’t think it was a dream.

Very funny, I say.

I dive head first under the sheets.

I’m Jacques Cousteau without a flashlight, looking for signs of hair.