Susan Y. Chi, Contributor to Moving, for You: A Tribute to Empathy

So many times in my life, hurtling through frames of time, I’ve crashed into the same falling object. Speed makes it hard to tell what it is, except that it’s small and white and seems to fly open like a sack of clothes. As I tear through the object, the sky is purple, sliding overhead. I see, again and again, the reflection of a little girl’s head at the upper edge of a car’s side-view mirror but I can’t quiet turn my head far enough to look back without snapping my neck. But, from my reconstructions, woven together from waves of nausea, I imagine: her body landing on a puddle of garbage; a carton of milk by her feet; pink plastic streamers twirling in a stew of dank water. See, when I was young, I used to scream and scream and scream but what horrified me was that no sound ever came out.          

The little girl’s body does not move. Her eyes, motionless, like polished pennies gazing up. She lies perfectly still beneath a cone of light shining down from a yellow streetlamp. To survive she had to play dead.



Calligraphy by Amorosa5