The Bog-Ridden Boy

When the man pulled the body from the bog, it had been flattened like a bear skin rug and carried the consistency of damp glue. Perhaps the fen had done this to the boy, or perhaps it was solely a carrier. They won’t want to see their boy like this, the man thought, and thusly collected the dripping anatomy into his fertilizer bucket.


They say you can’t compare people’s suffering, but Rhiannon’s personal apocalypse is objectively stupid. Which somehow makes it more devastating. That someone with enough money and a nice fiancé and a flamingo shirt could be sad enough to turn herself inside out like this.

My Sister Grandma

My little sister DeeDee drowned but they brought her back and now she is my dead grandmother. On the first day back to school, she accidentally bumped into Stanley, that fifth grader who looks like a seventh grader, and said, oh, cheese and rice.

Calculus of Nightmares and Nieces

Am I the missing girl, my perfect niece? Am I her devastated mother, staggering towards us? Am I her devastated grandmother, crying into her fist? Her devastated grandfather, immobile at the table? Am I the silent Uber driver? Am I the men, grinning with their axes?

Perceptor Weekly

I write that down and think of Tony perceiving all this. Will he wonder why we went outside to watch a string be cut in two? Will he understand the symbolism? Will his report to whomever convey a sense of community and perseverance? Will he understand why the drinks aren’t included?

Cautionary Distances

She said that she’d like to go out to the lake in the afternoon and she pouted her lips and blew Richard a kiss and he pretended to follow it slow and long across the room and watched it fall into his cupped hands and when he looked up Elaine was just shutting the door.

In the New World

I imagined that necklace in a museum someday, the history of a world that had burned away etched on each bead with a safety pin. I wondered if the people in the new world would know the word museum.

We Are Lions

The line to get into the club is down the block. That’s how you know it’s poppin’. At least that’s what Tripp says, rubbing his hands together so quickly I’m afraid he may start a fire.


The two of you have matching tattoos and yet she does not know the plunging depths of your self-doubt. You cannot let her know. You cannot let her know because she envies you—your witty captions, your nonchalance.

Your Sons and Daughters Are Beyond

These kids make you want to vomit. Not the hair: that could be got rid of with a good fine pair of shears and the good fine hands of buddies to hold them down while you do what’s needed. It’s the way they aren’t afraid, and you were promised fear.

Subject to Dust

After our discussion of childhood traumas, once / we’ve revisited a town in this valley named / Yettem (Armenian for Eden), you press your back against my chest.

Good Fox

When I talk on the landline these days, I can hear that telltale clicking my Russian friends warned me about. Someone’s listening in. Someone thinks I’m worth listening to.

Beautiful Dreamers

Her mouth folds down, that puppet face of hers, eyes sad and pleading, yet she raises the empty point of gun to his chest. You know, she says, but I have such an incredible urge to shoot you.