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a picture of a plane.The day her daddy got sent away, the whole neighborhood fluttered with closing curtains and eyes watching through cracked doors. His wife called it a mistake, the cousins called it rape and said he was a pedophile.
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And she just kept dipping her fingers into paint and dreaming about kites and the eyelashes on dolls, because she didn't know what any of those words meant.
A year later, he came back, and she washed the sidewalk so he couldn't see that she was drawing their secret in light blue and petal pink chalk.
"Those are nice pictures, baby," her daddy would tell her, but she hated it, because he always sounded sick, and he would rub her back with those big, rough hands until the neighbor's blinds twitched like the nervous wings of a bird.
Aleksander finally made her daddy stop, because he sat on his porch all day with a scratchy blanket in his lap, saying prayers beside a full ashtray.
"Why does he do that?" she asked him in July. "I don't like it when he does that."
He patted her