This is how you know you are poor. When the TV remote drops between the couch cushions, and you reach down and find food crumbs, you don’t share them with your sister. You squirrel them away in your pocket and save them for after bedtime, when the house is quiet. And long-sucking the flavor from them, you feel lucky, really lucky. A good day.
It doesn’t matter how much time has passed. Or that there’s an apple on the kitchen counter. Muscle memory and body memory and ancestor memory kick in.
This is how you know you are a survivor.
Aisha Wiley lives in the Philadelphia area. She dabbles in short fiction, poetry, and the lyric essay. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and Friday Flash Fiction. Non-screen pursuits include bass guitar and mosaic work.