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Mira is just beginning her senior year of high school when she discovers her father with his male lover. Her world–and everything she thought she knew about her family–is shattered instantly. Unable to comprehend the lies, betrayal, and secrets that–unbeknownst to Mira–have come to define and keep intact her family’s existence, Mira distances herself from her sister and closest friends as a means of coping. But her father’s sexual orientation isn’t all he’s kept hidden. A shocking health scare brings to light his battle with HIV. As Mira struggles to make sense of the many fractures in her family’s fabric and redefine her wavering sense of self, she must find a way to reconnect with her dad–while there is still time.
Told in raw, exposed free verse, Skyscraping reminds us that there is no one way to be a family.
This is a deleted scene from SKYSCRAPING. Originally, Mira spent the night at her Dickinson College visit and snuck out! Here is that deleted scene…
The white stars burst through the black night.
Pisces, two fish,
going opposite directions.
I walk to campus.
Think about Adam, how he’s in a place
I wish I could take a picture for Dylan.
Mr. Lamb says constellations
aren’t just pretty pictures.
They help us make sense of what’s out there.
I sit on a bench, as
a cluster of students walk by,
three girls and two guys,
girls in slip dresses and baby tees,
even though it’s cold, they walk in and
around each other.
One guy’s hand on a girl’s lower back.
The other guy pulls out cigarettes,
forages through his pockets.
Noticing me on the bench,
he asks me for a light.
Cute and blond,
a heavy green flannel.
I tell him sorry, he sits beside me anyway,
asks if I’m a “Frosh”
I say yes, sure I am.
His squinty eyes sparkle,
asks do I want to come to a party.
I look at the nothingness on either side of me,
and follow the pretty picture
His name is Chris.
Gives me a beer called Yuengling.
Wonder for a minute
if Dad will check on me.
Take a sip to forget.
We’re in a huge old house,
kids dancing, playing quarters,
not so different than high school.
Except we aren’t high up. In the wind.
Satellite in my eyes . . .
Blasts the stereo, tell Chris
I like the song, he says
it’s Dave Matthews, tells me
to remember he said it first:
this band’s gonna be famous.
Chris asks about my favorite class,
I sip the Yuengling, say Philosophy,
talks with Dylan coming in handy,
he says, his too, he digs the Realists,
I say Existentialism. Metaphysics.
Another sip, sweet like apple juice,
then metallic. He asks who my teacher is,
blond hair, eyebrows, goatee,
his squinty eyes steady, kind, playful
I don’t know what to say so, instead,
I pull him in:
Kiss him hard.
Right there, in the crowd.
For a second, I can only feel him.
He pulls me closer,
kisses my neck
then back to my lips,
his breath fills me,
someone shouts “get a room,”
shame devours the energy
between us and
I shrink away—
He asks my name as I run out the door,
past puddles of rain,
almost slipping, sliding back to the Inn.
Nobody noticed I was gone.
Nobody noticed I was gone.
Nobody but Chris.
I wonder what
Adam would say,
I fall into
When I wake up-
there are crescent marks,
where my nails dug into my palms,
hot pink half-moons scatter
their pale surface.