This Is Us

Remember This

‘If you must scream, scream beautifully’

Amanda Hariri
Human Parts
Published in
2 min readMar 1, 2021


Closeup of a hand using a lit match to light another match.
Photo: Marcos André via Flickr/CC BY 2.0


When you were 15, your father tore your baby pictures like old receipts. The ones in frames he set beside the dumpster. He put on his favorite record, made your brother a tuna sandwich. Whistled.

Ten years later, a man called you a canary in a cage.

Said, No one knows the bird is starving if it doesn’t sing.

Funny, isn’t it?


If you must scream, scream beautifully.



There is an alligator in the bedroom.

You found it there like a rug when you changed the sheets this morning, while he crawled from the bed to his car like a beggar.

Now there are two versions of you:

The one before you found the alligator and the one who found the alligator and shrugged.

There’s a siren blaring down the street. You reach for the phone and your hand twitches. There are several sirens, and a tail wraps around your ankles.

One eye closes — a filmy wink.

The doorbell rings twice.