Serpent Box

When I told her that she was beautiful she smiled like the Cheshire cat. She knew that I meant it too. I don’t think she’d heard that in awhile. You want to take my picture? She said. My picture? I told her that it would make my day. There was so much going on around her that wasn’t beautiful. The heroin touts were busy running back and forth from Natoma out to the cars idling on 6th Street, looking at me with Hyena smiles. I could feel a certain malice in the air, like a current in a wire. I said, All right, are you ready? I knew I didn’t have much time. A white man with a camera on 6th Street. She put her hands on her hips and looked up into my eyes. She couldn’t have been much over five feet tall. She had a story for sure…

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