The box was full of balloons the color of synthetic gloves, each one packed with cocaine. Maria picked one up, then realized they were all tied together, like a string of sausage. Someone cut one off for her. She inspected it, said she couldn’t swallow it, that it was too big. She was slapped in the face and told it was easy, that girls smaller than her have done it. She was told that by doing this, she would keep her mother and brother alive, that she would make lots of money. This gave her courage. She slid one into her mouth. Surprisingly, the balloon was easy to swallow, like a snake swallowing a mouse.
Maria was loaded into a van with ten other girls. They were driven across the border into Arizona. The girls all held hands and prayed. Suddenly, nausea set in and Maria’s chest tightened. She turned cold and began to perspire heavily. She squeezed the hand of the girl beside her and closed her eyes, thinking of her mother and little brother
Category Archives: Matthew A. Hamilton
Freedom inside the white room
When I see the ice hotel in
Oil money. Men die for it
Men in black suits and white robes
Money is spent foolishly.
My wealth lies within a loving wife
His cheeks crack
in the razorblade wind.
His mind, full of craters,
into a bottle
His shark eyes
roll over white.
He takes his last breath.
His body nestles inside the
stairs of a subway entrance—
a corner of dancing nightmares
he calls home.
He walks to the middle of the street and sits down, crosses his legs. The war is three years old. He is calm and patient. Soldiers watch him closely. They are afraid. His robe intimidates them. A crowd gathers. The man pulls out a book, opens it. His lips move in silence. Then he places the book on the street and raises his hands. He snaps his fingers. Calico flames, like tamed cats, crawl up his arms. He returns to the earth in peace. By his death, he teaches others how to live.
i dig up the sands of my soul
i am a descendent of
i am worth twenty silver coins
they fear my power
It happened on December 23. Crowds battled the cold and each other for last minute gifts.
I noticed a woman on the sidewalk. She wore a greasy Notre Dame sweatshirt. She was holding an empty can. However, she remained happy, smiled at everyone who walked past.
“Sir,” she said, “please help me.”
“Don’t have,” I said. I held out my hands.
I began to walk away. As I did she said: “Why is that?”
“Look,” I said. “I’m sorry, but I was recently laid off. Philip Morris. I was an accountant there.”
“Sorry to hear. “Interview today?”
“Yes, how did you guess?”
“You’re dressed nice. And don’t worry about the job.”
“I really don’t have any money, you know.”
I was fascinated with this woman, but I also pitied her. Being homeless, how come she wasn’t depressed?
“What is your name?” I said.
“Matthew. So I was thinking…”
I stopped myself. What am I doing?
I finally got the words out: “Do you want to spend Christmas at my house?” I think my wife and two girls would enjoy meeting you.”
During Christmas dinner, Mable grabbed my wife’s hand and mine. “Your goodness has saved you,” she said.
“My wife and I both went to bed wondering what Mable meant by that.
The next morning Mable was gone. A few days after that, the Capitals hockey team hired me as an account executive.