A Concentration on Numbers

Carla taught Anna to cut angels from paper, helped her glue them into her scrapbook. Carla was small and quiet, and three-year-old Anna loved her. Anna stroked the smudgy blue numbers written on the inside of Carla’s soft forearm and wanted to have numbers too, and so Carla inked them gently; 14, 699. At bath time, … More A Concentration on Numbers

Family Photo

It was the time he didn’t want to wear the bow tie and wool jacket, an oversized hand-me-down from our cousin. It was the time he started going through his days in a trance, out of the house before sunrise, our dog Pepper at his heels, not returning until after dinner. It was the time … More Family Photo

Tonight

Tomorrow, when the nurse wakes her up in the hospital, she will not remember anything after the two hotties at the bar—but tonight your daughter is laughing, and she feels like a princess in her sparkly black dress, with no worries, no thoughts of anything being added to her drink when she heads to the … More Tonight

Romantic Gardening

Lovers are like plants–each requires specific care. It would be nice if people came with a set of instructions like a house plant. “Craves constant attention. Does not like the heat! Enjoys missionary position twice a week on the couch. Shuts down during intense conversations.” Or: “Requires frequent compliments and Netflix marathons. Shouts occasionally, but … More Romantic Gardening

Expectations

My husband’s pregnancy was no surprise. At her party, he unfastened her brassiere from outside her blouse. An octopus at a typewriter. “I thought it was you,” he said. Now, he is round, pink, an Easter egg, a Honeybaked Ham. The life inside a mockery of my own vacancy. The neon lights read there’s room … More Expectations

Save Me, My Love

He kept screaming my name for hours on end. “Save me, my love.” I can still hear him tonight. Four holes inside his chest exposed his beating heart, as he swam in the pool of his own blood like a fish with lungs. His eyes seeped into my soul while I stood there like a … More Save Me, My Love

That Demon Sings Again

Obey the instructions. Lock the stall door. Wait for the guy at the urinal to head back into the library after not washing his hands. Take that dime bag out. “We know you want to,” the demon flirts. A tiny, oblong crystal shard, resting on the chrome TP dispenser, smashes under the weight of your … More That Demon Sings Again

Never About Wallace

Wallace wants pizza for his birthday, so he digs yours out of the trash. He smells like dried urine, and he mimics you like a parrot. You don’t carry cash, so you pray help is on the way. With headphones stuffed back into your ears, you forget Wallace and head home. The shelters are closed, … More Never About Wallace

This Is America

There’s a woman sitting on the curb smoking, picking scabs on her arms, she’s underneath the light of a truck stop sign that says BIGGEST, near the gift store full of tiny tractors, the girl handing out pamphlets for THE TRUE GOSPEL, the grubby-fingered boy who wants fries with that, and someone comes out, dodging … More This Is America