When Rachel Sleeps
by John Brantingham


When Rachel sleeps curled across the entire backseat of the car, she dreams of the tattoo on her father’s arm, the numbers in their neat row that she has only seen once.

He always wears long sleeves even on hot days, even here in Los Angeles.

When she sleeps, she goes to that secret place where her father says her brother and grandparents are waiting for her.

She dreams of her real name, the one that changed when they moved to this country.

She wakes up when the car stops. Her father gathers her up in his arms, and she smiles to herself that she is a part of this family that keeps so many things unseen.

It’s like she’s special.

It’s like she knows where the magician has hidden the dove.



a line


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