Jana Martin, "Hope"

She’s gonna take the bus down to Florida and get clean.

(from Russian Lover and Other Stories)

Why does everyone official throw all their officialese at me, and why does he bother saying the line is yellow since in this light, like everything else, it’s white?

This is a hell of a head to be in. The narrator is at once trustworthy and suspicious-making. She has moments of clarity interrupted by poetic creeks of consciousness, tiny floods where her meaning is just about to get lost, where she almost loses you. But if she does, it’s only for a second and it makes sense to get lost. This is not a character who’s got her brain screwed on tight. But she’s beautiful in a way, too human not to ignite a little pity or admiration or, yeah, hope in the reader. Of course, things might actually be hopeless but there are degrees of hopelessness.

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