Winter 2020 - Borderless

Daniel Garcia

A Night to Remember

 

Instructions:

Follow the steps to complete the blanks. After, put everything in past tense.

1. Choose an act someone wouldn’t believe happened to you.

2. Choose an act people laugh at.

3. Choose an act only women experience.

4. Choose an act prevalent on college campuses.

5. Choose an act that inspires a deeply cutting sense of shame.

6. Choose an act you could’ve prevented.

7. Choose an act people would say you asked for.

8. Choose an act you should’ve refused, but didn’t.

9. Choose an act where you’re blamed for not coming forward.

10. Choose an act of seizure so subtle it won’t unearth until you’re sitting in that all-night diner eating chicken tenders; how it’s suddenly that January night from nearly three years ago even though it’s April, how they warned of the stranger with knife in hand, but never the one between his legs; how you are on your knees in your dorm with his clumsy fingers in your hair again, every spurt as bitter as the ranch you dipped the tenders in; how it can no longer be a bad hookup, but instead an act so permanent that, no matter how you claw at your sarcophagus tongue, you will never fully reclaim the boy you once were from that night; how the monster in his closet was worse than the monster he’d become when he pled for your silence; how he never saw the irony in doing so; the impossibility of a mouth claiming a severed tongue while still holding the guilty blade.

 

***

 

boys don’t get      1       boys don’t get      2      boys don’t get

     3     boys don’t get      4     

 boys   don’t   get      5        boys don’t get

     6      boys don’t get      7      boys

don’t get      8     boys don’t

get      9     boysdon’t

boys don’t get      1       boys don't get      2      get     10     

 

 


Daniel Garcia’s work appears or is forthcoming in SLICE, Denver Quarterly, The Offing, Ninth Letter and elsewhere. A semifinalist for The Southampton Review Nonfiction Prize (formerly the Frank McCourt Memoir Prize), Daniel is also a recipient of the Myong Cha Son Haiku Award, the 1st Place Personal Essay Award at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, winner of the Bat City Review Short Prose Contest, and a recent notable in the Best American Essays anthology


 

 

 

 

This project is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council

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  © Ninth Letter, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.