In the Margins

Delicate by Akuokuo Vallis

Dreamt about Aunt Frankie last night. Only— she was thinner— in the dream— in a room with delicate curtains—and the windows were open.

Aunt Frankie—my mother’s sister— was a very, very, very large woman — seems impolite to call her fat.  Obese.

My sisters and I briefly stayed with her—once—only once—one summer.  We were supposed to stay longer — but Aunt Frankie was different.  A crocodile, really.  We weren’t used to different — like that.

She cooked well.  Really well.  But, never sat at the table with us.  Not ever.  Not even for dinner.  She preferred that chair — in the corner — sipping from her jumbo-size plastic glass— of juice — that’s what she called it— juice — watching us and commenting— from afar.

I was skinny once, Aunt Frankie said.  Sounded like a threat.  Maybe it was just a warning.

Made me nervous, though—especially when I stepped on the scale—each night.