We take our boys to church. It’s been a while. We remember the Hello My Name Is badges stuck between their then-tiny shoulder blades when we fetched them from childcare the last time we came.
A young boy entered the sunken ball court through the skinny entrance not far from the ancient pueblo ruins.
I opened my eyes from a deep sleep with a start. Nonna’s toothless face hovered over mine, her eyes swollen and red, her breath hot and coffee-tinged.
In the thick of fall migration, all the city kept watch. We’d heard the warnings; this year would yield more birds than usual, louder and hungrier than any season before.
And Tommy tittered. Sean sat up at the sound. The rest of us looked at Ms. Lynne in her checkered shirt and Catwoman glasses, too stunned to respond.
If someone could make it all the way through and not complain, not speak a word about their cancer, could they go to Valhalla?
It probably happened only a few times, but like many memories that remain suspended in space, I remember it being a ritual we developed and shared until the earth would fall flat all around us.
Her head throbs. She has no idea how long it’s been since he came up behind her in the dark parking garage, one hand squeezing her throat, one holding a gun to her head, whispering “Don’t scream, pretty girl.”
I had pestered my father to take me on the Sling Shot ride the night of the disaster.
“I didn’t wrap it well,” she said. She was right. She hadn’t. The edges were off, the tape sloppy, the paper paper-bag brown.
Millhouse awoke when the page dropped on him. It was the third time and he got up and dove escaping the next crushing page.
I wanted chocolate chip cookies, so I made a batch with extra chocolate chips then passed off my indulgence as a gesture of love for my wife and kids.
Children laugh, shout, “Haw, Fur Coat! That you away to the opera, aye?”
The scan confirms what I already suspect: my organs are in the wrong place. The doctor shakes her head at the computer screen.
I mistook the Catholic schoolgirls for friends until I learned my mother paid them fifty cents an hour to pick me up from elementary and walk me home, knee socks slouched and kilts rolled at the hip.
With the population now well aware of the physical and mental benefits of asceticism (low cholesterol, bradycardia, a delicate sense of happiness, spiritual fulfillment), everyone wants to become a hermit.
I wasn’t drowning when you heard me calling out, I was swimming. Those were yawps of exhilaration. My ex didn’t throw me overboard, we mutually agreed I’d dive into the Pacific.
Ignis, the flaming wreckage, bubbling rubber, liquified cloth, her skin charred and blistering, acrid smoke, the tiny thunders of survival’s kicks