This Dimming Light Between Us

The days, you keep tying them to hooks on the ceiling. Clay ornaments on strings knocking together like wind chimes in a summer storm or the eerie jingle of the Good Humor truck driving by. Somehow both immediate and fleeting. They make the most delicate clamor The noise sends me out of the house late at …

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XP

“Repeat it,” Brian, the seventh-grade DM, says, holding a cigarette lighter directly under my fist. “I can’t play until I’m 14.” “So stop asking.” His grip releases and I shake the pinpricks from my fingertips. “Now hand it over.” I pull a folder crammed with notebook paper from my backpack. Brian yanks out a character …

Souvenir

“You sure you’re cool with us?” The cigarette in our neighbor’s mouth bobbed as he spoke. Heather was in the kitchen rustling pots. “Us?” I asked, setting my beer down on a coaster, a souvenir from happier days when I still bought Heather gifts. “You know, with me and Heather?”

The Galaxy Nightclub

He traced my name into my chest after he heard it, the e blazing across my ribs like a comet. On the dance floor, he grabbed my hips and kissed me. "What's that for?" I asked. "For the stars in your eyes."

Red Dot

"What did your father say?" my mother whispers. I watch her gaze flit from my eyes to the painting of a peacock on the wall and back to a spot just left of my nose. Her drink is crooked in the hand that isn't clutching me. I look past her cashmere shoulder to my sister’s television in …

La Dauphine

They stand at the water's edge staring at us. Thirty people barely clothed, but unembarrassed. An animal skin circles each hip, and a long plait of grass holds it in place. The wind plays with the pelts that they've tied to the belt. The man wearing  a garland of crimson feathers holds a spear out …