Another very short story: Other people's problems

She is far too pregnant for this. The youngest one must lie across her belly, and she holds him hard until he stops twisting. The resignation in his eyes appalls her.

This one thing makes him feel like himself: the tube of hair gel. He keeps the cell phone in his jeans pocket even after the seawater ruined it.

The foot was left behind in Homs. Thinking about a prosthetic one keeps him moving forward. His crutches are scraping raw the wet skin under his arms.

It is very difficult to keep the head of the baby above the water and make the inner tube go forward. You kick but you cannot see if you are getting to the beach with the sun and the spray in your eyes.

First they sold the car, then the laptop. The men came to take the money but did not come back.

How many diapers?

You can still walk when you are almost fainting and when you are almost asleep and when you are very hungry.

All the private, stinking things, the things we keep inside us, we are leaking because we are sick.

The TV reporter turned and he cried out and pulled me across the rocks and the woman in the yellow vest gave me an orange and a soft green towel.

He has never been so dirty. He combs his beard each morning.

In the old tennis centre, the old airport, we are filling your disused space; we will be villages inside them; when you let us go we will do the work you will not do. I know you did this once. You know you did this once. Do not blame us.