Hereg Web Ares or How Is the World a Small Chinese Boy

Sometimes the Small Chinese Boy needs to make multiple trips to the wet market because he has such small arms and his mother gives him only enough money for plums and bean sprouts and the bag he is given to carry it all in has many holes like the socks he has shoved into too-big sandals soaking into the mud every step and the wet market has an insect problem not that insects are a problem but because the Small Chinese Boy has a problem with the insects getting in his eyes while he runs so fast back to mother with his armfuls of plums and bean sprouts and on the way back at the riverbank beneath the bridge linking the school with the city proper he sees a woman wearing a shirt and the woman’s shirt says “Hereg Web Ares” but the boy has practiced his lessons and thinks that the woman’s shirt probably should say “Here We Are” in English and he tells his mother that when he finally makes it home and she tells the Small Chinese Boy to be more like the river not dirty but fluid and he tells her that he will try he will try his hardest to do so.

Logan Murphy is a graduate of the University of Tennessee’s MFA program, currently living in Gansu province, China, where he teaches English to Chinese college students. His work has appeared in Corvus Magazine, The Masters Review, Pithead Chapel, and others.