the fury

aureleo sans

 

The bus is a bull—pausing, lurching, exploding, charging, bucking, buckling.
Ride the bus. Ride the bull. Ride the wave.
Every seat is taken, even the ones that face each other and make Mami and I dizzy. The floor is flat but shaky and depending on where we stand, the bull tries to knock us down. The metal pole is out of reach. Bags of groceries weigh down our hands like cinderblocks. If only we can maintain equilibrium between our limbs and the bags. Mami’s feet skip, and her body nearly crashes into the windshield like a fly. Soda cans flee the bags, spilling across all lanes of the floor. An old man with an ironbound face notices my 50-year-old mom, smiles, and offers her his seat. She scowls, rushing to gather what she’s lost. Maybe she didn’t hear him. When we get home, the cans will geyser and spray. He repeats himself. She yells, “No.” The man is incredulous, indignant, inveighing, insulting. We escape to the back of the bus, where the engine roars and cooks and the air is an ocean too warm and the windows are cracked and the heat uncovers the smell of ass in the seat fabrics and my stomach carousels. Until our stop, Mami mutters and occasionally glares backwards. The man keeps staring at her. She spikes her head in his direction and mouths “¡Vete al diablo!” then crumples and covers her face in her hands, cursing.

 

*

 

It’s my first day in group, and I tell the other rehab residents that anger is not an emotion that belongs to me. The group dismisses me, replying that every addict has a default emotion. “Maybe sadness is all you’ve known, but there are other feelings to feel,” says the therapist. This is a dialectic, and I am a very angry person, he says.
I had been directing it within.

 

*

 

I’ve only ever had anonymous sex. A thousand anonymous bodies pumping into me and then withdrawing.

 

*

 

“There goes the Peruvian again in her short shorts circling on her bicycle like a vulture trying to steal everyone’s husband,” Mami says. I am five, in a black-and-white striped shirt—Hamburglar clothes—in a trailer with a hole in the floor, listening to her decompensate. A roach zig-zags across the torn linoleum. Mami says one day I’ll fall for a terrible woman like her. All men did.

 

aureleo sans is a flamingo. She is also a Colombian, queer, non-binary, disabled, formerly unhoused writer and poet who lives in San Antonio. She has been named a Tin House Scholar, a Macondista, a Periplus fellow, and the second-place winner of Fractured Lit’s 2021 Micro Fiction Contest. Her work can be found in The Offing, Shenandoah, and Electric Literature, and is forthcoming in X-R-A-Y, Passages North, Waxwing, and elsewhere.