The woman on the bed, with hair like brown shoelaces over her scalp, says, “I told you to never trust anyone who puts on shoes to get the mail. Slippers or Crocs are one thing. Tying laces is how your father put his back out. He was no man. No kind at all. I said, son, look me in the eyes and say you love me.” Her son stares at me from the picture on the nightstand. He is nothing like me, except for his eyes, face, hands. I pull the blanket over her head and turn off the light.

Lituo Huang lives in Los Angeles with her dogs. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Hermine, the VIDA Review, JMWW, and elsewhere. She is at work on her first novel. www.lituohuang.com Twitter: @LituoH

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