Fiction

Red Awning

You’re home free when you smell the butter. Just watch your pace between the register and glass doors. Focus on the red awning of the crêperie outside. And take the exit on the left – this she makes me say with her – because it’s the only one not hooked up to the...

Red Flannel Shirts

Donald came to me on a quiet night. I was reading by candlelight. The full moon out the window was big and round like one dead eye. I never liked to be disturbed on such nights, but Donald could wreck me anytime he pleased....

The Warbler at the Window

The windows of my sunporch claim at least seven birds a year. I watch a warbler dance in midair, executing a whimsical waltz with its reflection in the glass. Seeing, not seeing. Then, it’s back to. This. My right hand up. Stop. The man across from me, Corbin—his left...

We Are Lucky We Are Here

We thought we were the chosen, called to polish the world and leave it golden, but instead we became radical, helpless, holy but alone. Now we gather in the basement of the Episcopalian Church, stir powdered creamer into burnt coffee and talk about our cults....

To-Do List

Return baby gifts to givers.a. Sift through rubble for boxes and envelopes.b. Call UPS Store to see if it’s still there.c. Pack gifts into red wagon and attach to wheelchair.d. Take Redondo Road, then make a right on Sapulpa to avoid crevasse on Andreas.Sign divorce...

Old Wives’ Tales

I rock and the baby's weeping is a Möbius strip of anguish. Hot moonlight makes squares on the floor. My hands are slick with sweat and Jeremiah's white t-shirt is damp. Once I walked with him, I touched his nose, I sang a song about an inchworm measuring marigolds,...

Swelling

That’s a baby gull, sweetie. A baby gull? Those exist? A slow, guttural laugh. Of course, jaan, Faree. I know, I know – it’s just – I’ve never seen one before; I’ve never seen a baby – A kiss. Blowy, dry, lipsticky. Human.
Tears.
I’ll never –
 Sshh. You’re with me...

River Dreams

Lydia can’t decide what causes what. Is it all because of that one evening when she was nine? Or was everything already fixed in place? Either way, she likes to tell herself the story of Before and After. And she pictures that distant evening as though from the...

Old Betsy’s Favorite Reverie

“Thank you for your interest in the Indiana Department of Correction’s Museum. As I am sure you will appreciate the sensitivity of such a topic, the Indiana Department of Correction does not refer to the electric chair by any nicknames.” — Indiana Department of...

Packaged Love

Ingredients Two people (40%), sex (30-10%, the percentage decreases over time due to natural weight-gain), friendship (10-30%, the percentage increases over time due to natural weight-gain), same location (10%, can be replaced by phone or webcam, but only for limited...

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