lowe_tree_500And I let her climb my back, feet and knees knocking hard on the backs of my thighs, my kidneys, my neck, before she settles herself on my shoulders and calls for her Prince to come and rescue her, to come and take her away from this tower, to teach her love, and she says, My hair is a rope, and you can climb it to free me of this tower; I hate this tower; oh won’t you take me away from here? On my ears, she beats time to the sing-song fairy tale she’s shouting to our empty yard, and I feel her weight in my lower back, but I let her batter me, let her play her game because every tower crumbles, and every princess escapes. I stand there and look at the clouds, and it’s like they’re stopped motionless in the sky, like it’s the ground that’s moving. Her heels clatter against my chest, a heart beating from the outside.


Christopher Lowe is the author of the story collection Those Like Us and the fiction chapbook When You’re Down By the River. His writing has appeared in journals including Third Coast, Bellevue Literary Review, Baltimore Review, and War, Literature, and the Arts. He teaches in the MFA program at McNeese State University.

Photography by Laura Frantz