Malecon Quinceanera

The chrome Indian head of a black  ’49 Pontiac Chieftain Coupe, shimmers in the late afternoon sun. My Dad had one fifty years ago; it had leaky brakes and sometimes he had  to angle it against the curb to stop it. It must have died long ago, but here, frozen in time, this one glides … Continued

When I Stopped Clapping

In a one-room schoolhouse a cast iron pot belly stove burned through great stacks of wood and sometimes mice whose necks had snapped in shiny steel traps.   We all cheered and clapped when our hero  dangled them by their tails  and flung their tiny corpses into the fire.   He was a lanky man … Continued

Glitter

It took Lydia five minutes to pry Pointer away from the door, where he growled and barked incessantly. With one hand buried in his silken gold coat she cracked the door with the other, the dog howling in distress. “Can’t you read?” Lydia yelled over the wails from Pointer, and then flung the door open.  … Continued

The little fish

The little fish yawns like an operatic tenor, as if he wants to sing to the clams that are digging— to the coral reefs who are judging that b-flat that he is belting. The little fish yawns like my dog Buttons after she wakes from her nap and then shakes her head— trying to loosen … Continued

For your safety, please hold on

Stop #117 — Kingly and Seventh — 6:54 AM He woke and slowly detangled his body from hers, folding her limbs back on herself like origami. Lost in her dreams, she murmured softly into his shoulder, her hair a tangled veil across her face. He paused, and trailed his fingers down the dinosaur ridges of … Continued

Moving box blues

Tastes like cardboard, you say, face scrunched, wistful of a mother’s recipe you haven’t yet mastered. I swallow my offense: this may be the last time I hear it; your voice. Stacked by the front door with my fellow fallen comrades, our frayed edges fluttering in the burst of cold each time you pass. If … Continued

Charged, with love

We met in the local mall. I was hanging out in a department store when he walked in. I noticed him immediately. He was tall, clean-shaven. He wore dusty Carhartts, and his steel toes echoed loudly across the linoleum floor. He looked at me, smiled, and sauntered over. He reached out his hand and touched … Continued

At five years

I cannot consent to swallow your love cold— down my throat you pour, I choke. At five years we left your stranglehold. From you, my childhood was pigeonholed, left alone, you couldn’t phone despite us being kinfolk. I cannot consent to swallow your love cold. At nine I suffered from your mould. Ten I counseled … Continued

Sunflowers

In the belly of the Blue Moon room, two young prostitutes thrashed on the soiled floor, unable to fall asleep. “Anna? Anna?” “Shh. You’ll never fall asleep if you keep talking.” “Anna, I can’t stop thinking about her.” “Who?” “Theresa.” “Ugh, don’t think about that,” Anna stifled a yawn and sat up, pushing her greasy … Continued

Retirement Planet

It was a quiet Sunday morning, the skies grey and dripping, so Gerald decided to skip his morning walk. Instead, he settled into his favourite armchair with a hot cup of tea and his favourite book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Gerald picked up the book, caressing the spine and the worn yellow-leafed pages … Continued

Trouble in Paradise

As far as intergalactic super spiders go, Trevor was pretty mediocre. Standing at three meters tall and weighing as much as a Toyota Camry, Trevor was average size. He put on his spider soldier suit one leg at a time. His wife, Carol, was neither tremendously beautiful nor fascinatingly ugly. She was quite regular for … Continued

1989

Autumn evening calls, it’s after dinner and we are out the door. It’s dark and it doesn’t matter. Innocent energy unfurls, high-tops hit pavement, full tilt. We run and run through the neighbourhood; jump fences, sneak through side-yards. A labyrinth of cat-walks and cul-de-sacs. The Block Watch patrols and peeks out front windows. Lungs puff … Continued

Changes

The sun rises late in the morning and sets early in the evening, a sign that autumn is departing, with its bright colours and crisp leaves, as winter arrives with cold mornings and dark nights. I shiver as I walk to the library, longing for comfort. Warm air encompasses me as I step inside, my … Continued

Queens

Have you seen the dark at Wounded Knee? Have you seen queens and kings who sing and act in glorious beauty? I have. I have seen queens and they are beautiful. They transcend with raven hair and coffee toes. They rise from caramel and milk chocolate skin and toffee and cedar and ooligan grease. Yes, … Continued

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