Month: October 2017

Steam

“My father died when he went into the steam room and his fentanyl patch released the entire month’s dose at once.” She told us this standing in a hipster knitting store in Ojai. We were in search of good coffee and a morning away from the broken garage door and the nest of six velvet rats in the compost barrel. On a quest from the Midwest; Kansas, prairie, dust, cutting prescription pills into heroin for kicks. She was “searching for somewhere.” Tired of her old life. Her sweater said, “Keep what you need.” I think she was stalking us....

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Six Gravel Roads

A gravel road. His voice weak from bronchitis. We divide a Lucky Strike between breaths. He pushes words into the sunset’s silence. “I went to homecoming with a girl that wore black combat boots and an orange polyester housedress that wasn’t a costume. Just before I got into drugs. Unrelated. But I can’t get over how she smelled like detergent, the brittle bleach of her hair, the kiss she refused to give back in the Waffle House parking lot.” My toe itches, distinct pulse and throb of a fire ant bite. Smoke, then scratch. I like her name, the...

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The 45th President of the United States and I Went to a Petting Zoo

The 45th President of the United States and I went to a petting zoo. Animals chewed on hay behind short wire fences. Children ran around yelling and reaching their arms out for the animals. What are these things? The 45th President of the United States asked me. Which ones? I said. That’s a sheep over there. I pointed around the petting zoo. There’s a llama. Those are some goats. Right, he said. But what are they? The animals? I asked. The 45th President slowly mouthed the world animal. Animals, I said. They’re called animals. You’re supposed to pet them....

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I Am the Heaviest Feeling Man on the Planet

the TV decides for him that he should have everything. and then suddenly there he is, crashed through the glass front of a fast-casual american restaurant, concussed, and bleeding from the nose. he’s fallen into a ball pit. the balls stick to his clothes. he removes his clothes. he can’t remove his skin. he feels them like overgrown pustules. the small hand of a boy smelling like the lake reaches in, pulls him out. *** the man opens his mouth to speak. the boy speaks for him: “who are you?” and the boy says back, “i know what all...

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To Remember Is to Eat the Moon

When I was a kid I used to think they’d drug us somehow as the plane took off. I could never stay awake to pluck my home out of the city lights and say that’s the one, that’s what I’m leaving behind. Sleep always found me. By the time I woke up, nothing outside remained. I don’t want to arrive. Last trip to India was visiting my grandmother, my Pati. That was ten years ago. Fell asleep with my cheek iced to the window, eyes opened like cracked marbles. Hours ago I searched for the spittle I left behind...

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