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Feiji Piao

from China Cowboy

The last time La La sees Clint it is in the airport. He is standing by the door to the jetway taking tickets. He is wearing his poncho and a pilot’s hat. La La puts her ticket in his mouth, a communion, he lights it like a cigarette with his trigger finger. Do you know who I am? she asks. He ashes into a tiny coffin he is holding in the palm of his hand. She says, in a funny way it worked out because Ren was going to be my feiji piao, my airplane ticket, and here I am. Clint drags her soul out of the little coffin. It’s bigger than her it’s shadow-pitched and she is surprised it fit in there. He tears her soul in half and then down over his face like a robber’s hat. He gives the rest of it back to her. Guess I’ll head, she says. At the end of the jetway a dead man introduces himself as Dante, kind of out of breath, sweating. Kind of like he was running, freaked, for eight years to greet her.

About the Author

Kim Gek Lin Short’s work has been published or is forthcoming in No Tell Motel, 42Opus, Drunken Boat, and other places. Her full-length collection, The Bugging Watch & Other Exhibits, is forthcoming from Tarpaulin Sky Press, and her chapbook, The Residents, was released from dancing girl press in late 2008.