Dissolved Like a Pill The lake was as thick and black as asphalt the night Jimmy's body was found; and the moon dissolved like a pill dropped in a glass of ice-water.
He was beautiful because he was Lumbee and had let his hair grow. He looked natural, as if he had grown somewhere and been cut out and placed in a vase on someone's mantle.
I think of him breathing in the dark sky first and then his body collapsing into the lake, his last deep breath filling his lungs with more darkness. The purple of his bruises and his dress spread flat on the surface like a lilypad, the weak lines of lapping water keeping him suspended just off the bank; flowing like brilliant paint poured in 10 weight motor oil.
The toes of the judge's bedroom shoes were dark from the wet grass. A back porch light timed out and someone's dog kept someone awake. The judge had been up for an hour already, but had not yet been in the backyard. He stood on the gentle grade down from his house to the lake and watched Jimmy bounce against the fingernail clean shore.
When the sheriff deputies arrived, the blue lights of their cruisers chased each other around the houses, into the rooms, were absorbed into the grey milk of the morning, and then appeared again on the faces of the men. The judge's breath was hot and bad from coffee and the things he added to it when he said this:
"I thought it was a trash bag floating in the lake".