Small People

By Cathleen Balid
We are small people, Joe and me. Smaller than the white men. We go along this country the way small people do it. Wooden steps, buried gazes. Slow, languid blinks, because if we don’t, we miss an ocean, a baptism, rosy mouths drowned in prayer. Because a voyage takes more than across, and I sometimes wander into phantom villages for Lola’s arroz caldo. When Joe sleeps, Ifind dust-blue ranch houses, skeletons of colonies, and wonder if it will be us next, filling the sinews of that story. Joe warbles my name. The next time he cries, I clutch his soft, infant body until he grows into this home.

Cathleen Balid is a writer from Queens, New York. Her work appears in the Roanoke
Review, Kalopsia Literary Journal, and Surging Tide Magazine. Find her at

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