If you squint at the 1916 county atlas and plat book, you can make out a farmer’s first and last name inked on a wedge of land tucked under a curve of the Arkansas River. The farmer named this place Jingletown.
I imagine this again and again: on a raft, in a passenger car, I’m crouching or sitting and there in the creek, beside the tracks, I see an object but can’t tell what it is, a thing obscured by the murk of the water, the speed of the train. A large rock, or a fallen tree, or broken concrete with rebar, or a wooden box. I don’t want to think it could be a body.
The last time Ab saw her biological half-brother, Jiwon, he was six years old and unwilling to release her leg, which he had wrapped himself around like a baby panda. He sobbed, in Korean, “I don’t want you to go to California,” which sounded like Cali-por-nee-ah.