Santee Frazier


A row of glistening kids stood under the pool lamp, gazing through the fence links as one of the
witnesses, beer coolie in hand flyswatter in the other, reported to the cops that guilty boys had


I saw them, belly first, feet slapping the sidewalk running through the breezeway. And when the
cops, in their shiny tactical boots, knocked at my apartment, asking what I saw, I told them the
kid’s name was Paul that he was dribbling down the breezeway when the M-80 went off in his
face, that earlier in the day, over by the dumpster, the same boys were stuffing Ladyfingers in
a calico’s mouth.


Later that night the blasters blared cassettes of latest turn-table mixes spun by Miguel from
7-B, and those who could danced on the cardboard locking their joints, contorting their bodies
until they broke into a fluid sequence of acrobatic movements.



“Firecracker” appears in Dark Thirty (University of Arizona Press, 2009).