Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2020  Vol. 19 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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On Symbols

I wore it every day, every week, more hair adhering to the undershell as I balded imperfectly, the plasticky follicles: a fitted white baseball cap tattooed with the red silhouette of a Trojan. USC. My wife’s coworker survived stage IV throat and he wanted me to have it. I found I couldn’t wear bandanas—too on-the-nose and ominous. And all my old caps came in darker hues like blues and blacks, manifestations of the moods I blamed for my predicament. Magical thinking, I knew. But I knew too, This white cap will save me. The red silhouette of the chemical warrior galloping through my blood. When I recovered I threw it out because it had served its purpose, but also because it reminded me of my illness and felt like bad luck now.  

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