Longreads

Caille Millner | Michigan Quarterly Review | Winter 2016 | 16 minutes (4,329 words)

I need to tell you about someone whose name I can’t speak. The lack of a name is inconvenient, but it’s not the most important thing about him; he gave it up so long ago. Everything important that I can tell you has been a fight against time and language, and I’m still only halfway there.

Halfway. We were half-grown when we met: eleven years old. Some concerned adult had determined that he was at risk. We all are, but in his case there were metrics. He had immigrated from Mexico. He lived with too many siblings; there was a rotating cast of uncles and cousins in his life. This seemed dangerous ─ we lived in San Jose before it became a booming city, when it was still threaded with apricot orchards and poverty. Some of…

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