Gallery

The Grease Ant

An army of ants swarms a left-out jar of peanut butter. In the fresh sun, they gleam like honey. I toss the jar over the fence into the vacant yard next door and smoosh the rest of them with a paper towel. Their transparent bodies curl into miniature yoga poses as...

Henrietta

Henrietta wonders what haunts me It wasn’t his whoop into the deep end, or how his mother had punched out her cigarette, one eye slit in the smoke, before plunging in to save him. And it wasn’t their legs churning like chum, or how I inhaled the sky and dove under....

Kindling

I lived alone on an island in a Queen Ann Victorian that was always on fire. On the day I first moved in, the turret was already ablaze, puff, puff, puffing threads of dark smoke into the sky, like coded messages to a distant land. Some people might have balked at...

Cherry Paint

“DYKE” just like that, in big, bold, red letters on the side of my brand new, shiny white car. Dial tone in my ear as I wait to tell my grandma that I won’t be able to drive her to her cardiologist appointment today. Her voicemail is what I hear next. I can’t tell her...

Musings on Health

I wanted to write a skit about the abundance of protein shake stores in Wilmington, North Carolina, but I’m not funny enough to pull off the jokes. I’ll try to explain it to you, though: the jacked, cartoonish men that work the counter, their shoulder muscles bulging...

Egg Days

I crack an egg into a pan and think about this: Once an iron bar went through a man’s brain. I learned about this in school. The injury affected his frontal lobe only, the area responsible for personality. I drop the cracked shell onto a paper towel and think about...

How to Make Money in the Summertime

Be sixteen. Go down to the Shell gas station at the corner of Welch Road and Route 309 and talk to Con Salt while he’s working the pumps. Don’t ask Con any personal questions because he’ll keep you hanging down there all day. Ask Con if there’s any work going around...

Bones

I can still hear your knee cracking on the boulder jutting out from the dry Arizona dirt after the branch broke and you freefell 10-plus feet from the tree we were climbing in my backyard. From a few limbs above, I was bone-chilled by your howls and relieved you were...

Becoming a Man

Point Pleasant, WV, 1965The boy’s classmates teased him because he still slept with his favorite stuffed animal, a spotted dog with droopy ears, even though he was now twelve. It began at Toby’s sleepover birthday party. It was only 8:30 when the boy called his father...

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