Robert Paul Moreira

I wake Paco up in the early, dress his ass, wipe the lagaƱas from the sides of his eyes, and in the bathroom I tell him. I tell him straight to his face, the dumb fuck, but he thinks it’s two words. “I got clothes already,” he says, sticking his knuckles in his eyes. I punch him in the shoulder, hard. “Hurry up,” I yell down to him, and he does.

Outside by the U-Haul Paco kicks our Spongebob-stickered fridge, pops his palms on our chewed-up breakfast table, slaps some of the Hefty bags, plops his ass on our leather sofa and starts to whimper. “Tito hit me,” he complains to Mom, rubbing his shoulder. And that’s when Mom says it. She shouts it with oscillating eyes and with gravel in her throat and that letter gripped tight in her hand.

She lays it into Paco good in the same place I got him. And I’m thinking about the bruise already. And I’m a lump of a throat on legs, loading the Hefties into the back of the truck.

 
 
 


Robert Moreira’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Emprise Review, Aethlon: Journal of Sports Literature, Storyglossia, Breakwater Review, Bartleby Snopes, and other literary journals. He is the Assistant Fiction Editor for Dark Sky Magazine.