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Louisiana Anthology

Kevin Cutrer.

© Kevin Cutrer.
Used by permission.
All rights reserved.

What’s wrong with “where you at?” I call her up, and I say, “Where you at?” and she don’t say, and I say “Where you at,” she still don’t say, and I yell “Woman!” and here she comes, all smart, “Where am I at? Between the ‘A’ and the ‘T.’” So, she won’t answer me, not till I say it right. Well, right by her. You ask a normal person where he’s at, and he’ll tell what you asked, wherever he knows or thinks he knows he is.
It started when she signed up for that class on Business English. Business, like she ever, ever could mine her business. I mean, I laughed. Weeks and weeks of nothing but conjugating. Then, when I ask her to get conjugal, she licks a finger, flips the page so fast the paper snaps like a whip.
She chants, witch-like, her magic words. As if it all could change. As if talking like a teacher lands a job, or learning books will make our single-wide the giant pumpkin from the old cartoon. “I’m bettering myself,” is all she says. But what she means is she wants out of it: the single-wide, the hair salon, and me.
That’s why I done and got myself a room. Done read the Bible Gideon left behind to make sure I was right about how knowledge will bite you like a snake. And you cain’t get un-bit, now, can you? She called a while ago. I said, “You know what, Eve? The apple’s yours. I’ll stay in Paradise.” She didn’t get it. She asked my whereabouts. “My whereabouts?” I said. I said, “Between the ‘A’ and ‘T.’”

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Cutrer, Kevin. Lord’s Own Anointed. Loveland, Ohio: Dos Madres, 2015. Print. © Kevin Cutrer. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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