Looking at David Bowie in a Teen Magazine While Hiding in the Bathroom from My Family


By K. R. Rosman


The boys are ones and the girls are zeroes because boys hit harder and a 0 looks like it would embrace you. Girls hit, too, so the circle arms are for appearances. But now here you are, under my thumb, gloss on gloss, my sister's magazine that she threw in the trash under the sink, closing the cupboard door before I could reach it. She whispered fag in my ear and that word became more like 0 and less like 1. I, eager for her rejects, sneak back to look into that gap for what is missing in my life. She—who at thirteen knows so much more than I at ten—doesn’t see that if binary is 0 or 1, I can have probability. Add new elements and the mathematical tree branches in ways I will never understand except that we need all or none to be 1 or 0. That is impossible on the playground and in my notebook. Nothing ever adds up. So let the set get bigger and more impossible until I am lost between your beautiful face and kick like a mule voice, so much so that a labyrinth makes sense. That confusion! I pray and wake and touch and feel. Let it be so. Let it always be like this.


K. R. Rosman lives in Seattle. Her stories have been published in Summerset Review, Adirondack Review, Foxing Quarterly, and others