On one demure plastic woman, I see a red lace-hemmed slip, the type of thing I imagine I would feel sexy in, the type of thing I think Jake would like, would want to watch me slip out of or rip off me in a fit of passion. Before I can imagine it crumpled on our bedroom carpet—or worse, hanging in the closet with the tag still on—Jake calls my name and holds up a small bottle. I can’t read the label.
“This is priceless,” he says. “Like lube for nerds.” He thrusts it toward me, pinching it by its skinny ketchup-bottle neck. On the glossy label, a white cartoon horse smirks and winks, its pink tongue lolling to catch a single tear from its cheek. A silver horn spirals out of its forehead, separating the two words of the product name: Unicorn Tears, printed in loopy cursive.
Read more at The Ampersand Review
Second Page of a Letter Dated March 7, 1983 (Poem)
me with a broken arm, and Ronnie with a concussion, too. I told the cop it was a sledding accident. He looked at our name like he knew, but you weren’t there so he couldn’t see your knuckles, and it was just my word he had to take. You were still gone when we got home. Put Ronnie to bed and turned on the twinkle lights. Set your mother’s Perry Como record on the player, then plucked each red glass bulb from the tree and stepped on them one by one. I walked across the boxes, too, the packages I had wrapped in newspaper funnies that afternoon. Fell asleep on the couch, your bottle of bourbon empty between the cushions, and the next morning, I hid the bottle in the crisper with the pumpkin roll. When you asked, I told you Barney must have chewed up all the ornaments and smashed Ronnie’s gifts. I blamed the dog and the full moon. Even when you took Barney out back and the shotgun woke Ronnie, who (and we laughed about this later) thought you shot Santa, I couldn’t tell the truth. You never looked at me close enough to see the cuts on my feet.
But, baby, I’m sorry I ruined Christmas.
Originally published in Thin Air, Spring 2012 Issue
Dogwood pollen clumps with rainwater on the sidewalk,
and we leave a trail of yellow footprints. You reach
for a low branch, behead a single white
blossom, press the petals to my hand and say, Smell that?
Like sex in a rainstorm.
Read more at Ghost Ocean Magazine
Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before
Rows of pawns flicker blue like stove flames on each side of the board. Behind them: blue projections of inbred royalty, bucking stallions, twitchy bishops, crumbling castles. Tiny gouges and cigarette burns perforate the board’s surface; brown water-damage blobs and coffee-cup rings bleed over the black and white squares. All game pieces are the same ghost blue. God and the Devil know whose pieces are whose.
Read more in Versal, Issue 9