Renee Ge | Art by Katherine Cui

Get up. Watch the boy

peek into the shoebox. See him twitch his head side to side.

Notice the electric lights, stealing from the dying sun and

carving out the ridges of his face. Here’s a silly thought: reach out and check

if the dark side of his cheek is solid or not.

You shouldn’t be here. You should be outside,

playing tag in the fields, climbing up the slide to watch the sun set.

There’s a place a few blocks from your house—you went there when you were very young—

you had lost your shoe in the rain, and the street lights had streaked across the puddles,

you had found it beside a great red tree with soft bark you could tear off and

the boy will reach inside and pull out the cocoon. He will tear into it. Pretend you don’t 

see it dripping off his hands. The half-moth will crawl 

along the bottom of the shoebox. Look away as the wing comes off. When the boy 

scotch-tapes the wing back to the twitching body, laugh.