Fatima: 212 Mt. Vernon
by Kelly Fordon
Kelly Fordon has just finished work on her first novel: Love Fits Itself, which is currently being shopped by her agent. Prior to writing fiction and poetry, she worked as a reporter at the NPR member station in Detroit and as an editorial production assistant for National Geographic magazine. She graduated from Kenyon College and received her M.S. in Journalism from Ohio University. Her work is upcoming in The Kenyon Review On-Line. She has been published in Flashquake, Red Wheelbarrow, The Windsor Review and several other journals. She lives in Michigan with her husband and children.
"If you don't have a dustpan wet one end of a newspaper. It will stick to the floor and you can sweep the dirt on to it. If you have to poop and there's no toilet squat in the corner of the room over a newspaper and then fold it up like an envelope. When I am walking, I always look up. One time I was walking home from school and I looked up and there were children climbing up and down a ladder to heaven. They were carrying buckets. My friends saw them too. It is normal in my village for a husband to take a gay lover. In the days leading up to my departure for the States, my boyfriend beat me. His parents heard me screaming but they didn't stop him. Our kids are lucky. When they get in trouble, we yell at them or send them to their rooms. When I was growing up my grandmother tied me to a tree with a rope. She poured honey over my head and waited for the bees to come."
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