Sep/Oct 2016 • Vol. XXXVIII No. 5 FictionSeptember 1, 2016 |

Good-bye, Saint Louis

The night after the police killed a boy in the streets, a luna moth appeared on the spokes of my bike. Its green wings translucent, bathed in light from the supermoon that pushed down on our front porch where I sat beside the tires, the August air thick, the sound of the television sifting through the screen door as my father watched pro tests inside on the Sunday evening news, protests because the boy was unarmed, protests because the officer had fired twelve rounds. My father watched police in helmets, holding batons. Riot gear and tear gas. People in the streets, their hands raised, a boy left on the pavement for hours after the officer shot him, a black boy and a white officer and a Saint Louis township only six miles away, though we heard nothing, just the sound and stream of live news, just the soft fluttering of wings on my bike in the moonlight. That night the full moon was 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter, so close to the earth. That night I slammed the screen

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Anne Valente is the author of the short story collection, By Light We Knew Our Names (Dzanc Books, 2014), and the forthcoming debut novel, Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2016). Her fiction appears in One Story, Ninth Letter, The Normal School and The Chicago Tribune, and her essays appear in The Believer and The Washington Post. Originally from St. Louis, she currently teaches creative writing at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

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The night after the police killed a boy in the streets, a luna moth appeared on the spokes of my bike. Its green wings translucent, bathed in light from the […]

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