The day after the planes found the buildings the aliens on the southwest corner of La Cienega and Pico were selling flags with their hot dogs. He wondered where they had come from. It was then he discovered the unmistakable taste of copper in his nostrils, that whispering wordless laughter that divides him from himself. Many years later, in an august South, when he was unable to identify the wretched of the earth for his wife, who so desperately wanted them gathered she carried him to the ER, it was suddenly a laughter in need of the ritual of naming.
Ricardo Wilson is the author of An Apparent Horizon and Other Stories and The Nigrescent Beyond: Mexico, the United States, and the Psychic Vanishing of Blackness. He is an assistant professor of English at Williams College and the director of Outpost, a residency for creative writers of color from the United States and Latin America.