OWEN & OSCAR
WHY WE CAN TANGLE WITH EM'
Two brothers are running on down the wheat fields with the sun in their chest
They're hollering about the sky, and the clouds, and how the air smells like Ma's perfume when she's goin' down the road in her pretty little Sunday dress.
"it's fresh," one says
"It's new," the other says,
They're climbing up and over the fence that skirts the barn, and they're grabbing each others arms and legs
because the fence's got teeth and it bites at their black skin and it makes them howl louder than the coyotes that come by and eat up their hens.
"Careful," he says, and he's got the big brown eyes and the big full lips that make girls weep. "Don't scrap your knee."
"Okay", the other says and he's got his father's smile and his mama's eyes that make his grandmama want to hit him.
they're holding hands as they follow the trail beyond the fence, they're holding hands because Mama says 'true brothers hold hands.'
"Owen," Oscar says.
"Do you know Jessica?" he ask. "The pretty little white girl with the long legs and long hair?"
"Yes," Owen says. "I know her, she's the daughter of the baker down the street."
Oscar nods. "Well," he says, and his light up. "You won't believe what she told me the other day."
Owen grins. "What'd she tell you the other day?" he asks. "What'd she tell you?"
"She said she wanted my number." Oscar chirps and his big brown eyes are looking bigger cause they're twinkling.
"She said she wanted my whole number, and she said she wanted to put it real snug in her contacts, she says she'll call me up every night."
"What's she gonna call you about? What's you guys gonna talk about?"
Oscar grins smugly and shrugs. "Stuff,"
"Stuff like what?"
"Like grown up stuff, things grown ups talk about, y'know."
Owen scrunches up his nose. "You ain't grown. Oscar. Mama says the Lord tells you when you're grown."
Oscar shrugs again. The trail snakes around trees that tower above them like their father; tall and mighty and ageless, they take up all the space.
They keep crowding them up.
"Does ma know," Owen says, and his brothers face pinches. "Does mama know you're calling up a white girl?"
"No," he says. "No, mama doesn't need to know everything I do, Owen."
"No," Owen says. "No, she don't. Be she goin' find out even if you hide it, and then she'll be angry cause you did hide it."
"You don't know that."
"I do," Owen says, his tongue flicking off things that mix with hate and irritation. "I do and you know I do, Oscar."
Their hands unclasp as they meet the end of the trail. Owens got a something nasty building up in his mouth.
And Oscars got a poison running down his bloodstream.
(TO BE CONTINUED.)