Once upon a time, a crow had cut my palms with his talons, and the blood pact began. I could no longer speak so loud. I could no longer swim. I could play the blues and walk the nation until my feet grew calloused and I finally believed that I had no home. I would feel that old crow’s shadow over me in the day, and he would sleep on my shoulder come the night, when I’d lay holed up in the cornfields, or in the dust of the endless road.
When I was a child I’d met the devil. He was black and feathered and he wanted to steal what shone, so he’d pecked out my two eyeballs and the buttons off my coat, so I crossed my fingers behind my back and he sliced my palms in the pact, and I would never get my sight back but for when the moon was high, when the rats get fat. At devil’s hour he would grip my skin and I could see by his own eyes, but through the devil’s eyes I saw horrid things, and I was made to make them worse. My scarred palms would strangle and I would kill for taste. Come morning I’d be blind again, skip town, and I would vomit foreign flesh from my stomach.
I am grateful that my parents are long buried. They would see me now and hang their heads. I am grateful to be alone. I’ve seen my own reflection through the devil’s eyes, and I see a villain whom they’d never known.