Blood finds its way into his mouth as if by miracle, a miracle the boy doesn’t feel is miraculous, because he doesn’t experience the divine in the suddenness of blood, he simply copes, manages as anyone would, anyone who has to relieve themselves in the middle of the night, a little agitated as he gets out of bed, but he doesn’t flee from his sheets at any great speed to the bathroom like he had when he was sick last year, running to the toilet every twenty minutes, driven and distressed down the hall, no, the blood is nothing like that so he walks slowly as to not wake up his father, mother, or siblings, any one of them calling out to him to go back to bed, doesn’t he know he has school in the morning, and after he enters the bathroom, he shuts the door quietly before turning on the light, and once illuminated with the lock fastened, he goes to the sink, turns on the faucet, and spits, spits into the water, the blood disappearing quickly, disappearing from his mouth and soon from the sink, in swirls, the red turning, getting fainter until there is nothing but the clearness of water, and the boy runs his hand along the basin making sure there is no trace of blood left, no blood in his mouth, or on his fingers, or in the sink, a sink occupied with little droplets, and as the miracle of blood vanishes, the boy goes back to bed.


The boy, Miguelito, has come to expect blood. He knows deep down the blood doesn’t come from him, but some other place, from where he isn’t entirely sure, but definitely not from a sore in his mouth or a loose tooth, nor his gums, the dentist has recently given an outstanding update to his mother about Miguelito’s dental health, saying he hasn’t seen such a young boy who cares so well for his teeth in years, if ever, and that surely he flosses every night, he can always tell if someone flosses; nor does the blood come from deep within Miguelito’s body where everything looks compressed in an almost impossible way, all those organs and bits crammed in a human body, it doesn’t come from a place like his lungs where he could cough it up, it doesn’t, the blood merely finds its way into his mouth, a miracle, and that is why the boy thinks of the blood as the blood and not his blood.


Miguelito often accompanied his father when he worked on farms. Before heading off to build a fence or prune a tree or dig a ditch or make minor repairs to a vehicle, his father always told his son he was allowed to wander, just so long as he didn’t go too far or get in anyone’s way. Miguelito’s father reminded him of this every time they arrived at any property, it was the only rule, and the boy listened respectfully to his father’s speech, even if he had already heard it before, many times, and when his father stopped speaking the boy said clearly: yes, father.

His father nodded and tousled Miguelito’s hair, indicating he may go. And he did. Miguelito turned and started walking away. His father, after grabbing his tools, did the same, setting off to dig his first post hole of the day, which would lead to many post holes and eventually to posts and then wire or wooden boards depending on which farm he was working on and what the farmer had requested, and finally there would be a fence.

He may be of the age where boys are more daring, too young to know better and old enough to concoct reasonable justifications for their behavior if they were ever caught in the act, but Miguelito isn’t foolish nor reckless on this farm or any other, he would never chase after the chickens or tease the sheep by offering them something to eat only to pull it away, because for one, his father had already given him a lecture about how to act while on a farm and Miguelito would never disobey his father’s orders, and two, the boy has never been interested in causing any animal the slightest bit of trouble or discomfort.

There was a time, once, before the blood, when he had felt distressed by an animal and so knew full well how one might feel if the reverse had ever occurred. His distress had happened by mistake, the mistake being that he had gotten too close to the goat, Hector, and Hector nipped at Miguelito’s shirt and the boy ran away in tears in search of his father, his shirt, intact though with a considerable rip, but mostly stretched out from Miguelito yanking his clothing free from Hector the goat’s mouth.

The boy passed the chicken coop and passed the goat, Hector, and Hector gave Miguelito a look from the side the boy couldn’t read, it being either ambivalence, with no recollection of the whole shirt incident, or it was intent, the look of a goat who saw a lovely, new shirt on Miguelito’s body and if he would just get closer, he, Hector would love to have a taste.

It was a small farm with a coop of chickens, three goats, half a dozen sheep, a dog, and two or three cats. No cows or horses. The boy would be more hesitant to go to the farm if it had cows and horses. The last time Miguelito went to a farm with such animals, he witnessed the farmer shoot a cow. The farmer had said she, the cow, was sick, and the milk she gave her calf was bad, and that it would be best if she died. The farmer, being used to this sort of work, didn’t mind the boy being near the cow as it took its final breaths. Miguelito doesn’t have a morbid sense of curiosity. Quite the opposite actually. His mother often says he’s sensitive, he worries too much. His father uses words other than sensitive, he loves his sweet, little son, but he is worried the world is going to take advantage of his giving nature, his kindness, his willingness to wait until everyone has what they need before asking for anything, which he never does. Miguelito had watched the sickly cow pass away, the farmer not caring if the boy was there or not, but also not telling the boy what was about to happen until it was happening, him pulling out the rifle and telling Miguelito to cover his ears. The boy remembered the strained breathing, the cow’s slightly open mouth, her expanding nostrils and Miguelito couldn’t turn away. He saw the cow go, just stop, as the blood continued to come.


Miguelito tried to tell the school nurse about the blood early on, when it was new.

The miracle had started in class and Miguelito initially mistook the blood for saliva. He had been hungry and lunch was still hours away, and the thought of food made him salivate, which was nothing unusual, an excess saliva in his mouth, which was not saliva at all, but was in fact blood. As soon as the blood, thick and tasting of metal, hit his tongue, Miguelito understood what he had swallowed. And after sending the blood down his throat, Miguelito asked if he could go to the restroom. The teacher gave him a pass and off he went to find the source of the bleeding, but could find nothing. Miguelito assumed it was a singular event, the randomness of the cosmos meeting in his mouth, but when he went back to class, the blood returned, as spontaneous as before. He couldn’t ask for another pass and wouldn’t cause a scene by rushing to the bin to spit so the boy decided to gulp down the blood. He repeated this, swallowing at each occurrence, until his stomach hurt and he was forced to go to the nurse’s office as soon as the bell rang.

The school nurse, always doubtful of children and their ailments, children who often faked a fever or headache to get out of an exam, gave Miguelito the visitor log and told him to write the exact time he had entered and what had brought him here to the nurse’s office. Miguelito was not the best with words and writing. He was far behind the other children at school. His mother said not to worry, he already worries enough, that everything will work out, so Miguelito did his best. He wrote the time (numbers were no problem for him) and then wrote: stomach hearts. His misspelling of hurt for heart was minor and mostly ignored by the school nurse, who quickly read what Miguelito had written and then asked him directly, the entry in the visitor log being more of a formality, to move things along, a step in the process before the school called a parent and the child was picked up, and yet how could the heart not be involved, the very thing pumping blood around his body, except this blood, the blood, wasn’t his blood, and Miguelito asked about blood, where it came from and if it was possible for blood to suddenly appear from nowhere at all, and the nurse asked if he was bleeding, she thought he had a stomach ache, and Miguelito said his stomach did hurt and that he wasn’t bleeding, which was true, he did not report the blood—blood that wasn’t his but had somehow found its way into his mouth—to the nurse though he felt he should, but in this instance he was more interested in knowing if it was possible for a person’s blood to find its way into another person, and the nurse said, of course, but not wanting to explain the process of blood transfusions to a child kept it simple, she said, other people’s blood could be put into another person using a needle, typically in the arm, and Miguelito said no not with a needle, and nurse said then it would be very difficult, you typically needed a needle and a tube leading to a bag with blood or in immediate situations directly from person to person, and Miguelito asked again, this time with more detail, he asked if it was possible for a person’s blood to find its way into another person without a needle or tube or bag or without the first person, the blood donor, being nearby, and the school nurse looked at the nervous looking boy who looked genuinely sick (she could always spot a fraud a mile away) and said, only if it were some kind of miracle, which sounded odd to the nurse as soon as the words left her mouth, and the two stared at each other for a while before the school nurse remembered she hadn’t contacted Miguelito’s mother yet and went to make the call.

When Miguelito’s mother came to get him, she asked what was wrong. The nurse said it must be nerves. The boy thinks too much, said the school nurse, he worries about things that aren’t even happening, that will never happen, he worries to the point of panic. After announcing her diagnosis, the nurse left the two, mother and son, alone. Miguelito’s mother asked the same question, what was wrong, to him, and Miguelito said only: my stomach.

Miguelito’s mother kissed his forehead and then grabbed his coat. Wrapping her arm around him, she said, I have just the thing for upset stomachs. As they walked out of the nurse’s office, Miguelito’s mom thanked the nurse for calling her, and added she would let the school know tomorrow morning if Miguelito was still ill. They headed towards the car and more blood entered Miguelito’s mouth. He swallowed. A miracle no one saw, or knew of, and wouldn’t seem to stop.


After the cow and before blood, and beyond the sheep pen, there was a field. The boy knew it well, knew it was part of the farm, the one with Hector the goat and without cows or horses, knew it belonged to the property because he could see the fence running along to the far end and back around; a fence Miguelito could tell his father had built just by looking at it. Though he had been to this farm several times, he had rarely gone out this far, which wasn’t so far and was in keeping with his father’s expectations, but Miguelito usually kept to trees where he could climb, eat fruit, be hidden in the leaves with his feet dangling for his father to easily spot if he ever needed to find him.

Nothing had led him to the field. He had been wandering, distracted in his head, thinking about how unusual it was to think and to exist, to be an existing being who thinks, and then how suddenly a new thought enters the head of an existing being, how thoughts would keep coming and would continue coming as long as the being existed, never stopping, and the very thought of never stopping was so overwhelming he questioned how anyone could work or walk or talk, how could they not be totally paralyzed by the panic of constant thought, how could people push away all those thoughts upon thoughts, their very existence just thoughts piling up into memory, how could they push the thoughts deep down or to some corner of their heads, which seemed impossible, how could they have these thoughts and not stop and recognize the process of having a thought, and then to spiral into an ungodly amount of thoughts, appearing from a head, but before that nowhere, how could they live, breathe, have a head full of concerns, dreams, hopes, fears and not question where they came from, Miguelito thought, and then he was at the field.

With no animals, no trees to climb, not a trench or an earthen mound to explore, the plot was almost entirely bits of patchy grass, rodent holes, and discarded scrap. And though it looked like so many other fields in the area, Miguelito felt an absence he couldn’t understand, had never experienced before and had no words he could use to describe it, this new sensation, where he might have said in the place where there is a field there is emptiness, but that word, emptiness, wasn’t quite right, and he hadn’t yet learned words like desolate or devoid, if he had, he might have used those, so he came to think of it as a place without. Specifically, a place without thought. Or so he felt, each step closer causing a greater fuzziness in his head as if a fluffy cloud had found its way in, the place being a place where thoughts went away or could never go. All of this, completely unrelated to the new fence Miguelito’s dad must have recently constructed, the enclosure, with its freshly cut wood and shining wire. The fence was separate from what actually surrounded the field.

Miguelito guessed the place without, currently in the field, must float across the Earth, because the plot had never been like this before. This was something new. It was like the shifting magnetic poles. Miguelito had just learned about Earth’s magnetic field, its slow drift and eventual reversal in school and had found the information so very interesting, poles switching sides, of course they did.

And as the poles, the field, or what occupied it, was exactly the opposite of everything he’d ever known: his father’s fences, his mother’s voice, the sickly cow’s eyes, school, Hector the goat.

He could only stare at the field. Sounds from the farm dropped off. And the more Miguelito looked out, the more he didn’t understand, the more lost he became. Not lost in his head with thought, lost in the field, lost in the place, in the nothing not like emptiness, and it was in the void where the boy could stay for hours, days, years, eternity, and perhaps this was eternity, heaven on earth, heaven was in the clouds, and it could probably come down to the place where there is a field, could be one massive cloudy gateway to heaven where there is no thought only being, a presence you couldn’t recognize because that required thought. Miguelito wanted to embrace heaven and join the thoughtless paradise, if only to see what it was like, to be disconnected from the thinking part of himself.

When it was time, Miguelito’s father called out to the boy and for the first time ever, Miguelito resisted. The boy who always listened, always obeyed, didn’t turn. His father called again and Miguelito still couldn’t drag himself from the field. Eventually, his father had to walk all the way to where the boy was and tell him for the last time that it was time to go. They walked away.


In the middle of the night, the boy, Miguelito, sat up with more blood in his mouth. He reached under his bed and carefully grabbed a jar he had hidden there. He watched the red liquid swash, almost black by moonlight, took in how much there was before unscrewing the lid and spitting. After the mouth blood combined with the jar blood, the boy fastened the lid and returned the glass to its hiding place. He wiped his lips with the back of his hand. When the boy was sure he was temporarily done with blood, he put his head back onto his pillow and closed his eyes. How quickly the miracle of blood had become ordinary, tedious, like a chore.

On Saturday, his father would work on the farm with the field. The boy would go with him. The boy would bring the jar, he would bring the blood to the field, to the place.


He is at the farm, at the field, at the place, but he can’t bring himself to enter. Miguelito, the boy, stands beyond it, near enough to feel its effects slightly, but enough to know he isn’t fully immersed within the place, even though he wishes to be. He wants nothing more, and that is why he has brought the jar. He removes it from his pack, unscrews the lid, pours the liquid onto the earth, and tosses the jar into the field. A trade of miracles. To swap blood for a cloud, for a place where thoughts cannot go, but the contents of the jar are not enough, Miguelito can tell, so he spits out the blood that has suddenly entered his mouth onto the dirt. He does it again. And again. Whenever the blood comes. Miguelito spits several times over several hours and it is still not enough. Miracles aren’t meant to be undone, they are for glimpsing, for revering the holy event before it is gone, not meant for us to keep.

The boy’s father calls out to him that it’s time to go. The boy turns at his father’s first call and waves, acknowledging he has heard. He begins to walk back. On the way, he sees Hector, the goat, but the animal pays him no mind. Hector is busy chewing, a goat lost in thought. When Miguelito reaches his father, his father tousles his hair, asks if he would like to get some ice cream on the way home, and the boy nods, says: yes, please.

As they walk to the car, blood finds its way into the boy’s mouth. Every miracle, a blessing.