A rotating selection of my published stories. For more stories, click on PUBLISHED WORKS above.
What If All the Oceans
My imaginary son is obsessed with rocks. He's learning about them in imaginary fourth grade. We've already made an imaginary volcano. You can imagine what a mess that was.
What's this one, he asks, holding out a rock. What's this one? And what's this one, he asks, picking up a clod of dirt, which not being a rock in the strictest sense crumbles through his imaginary fingers. Oh, he says.
HOW TO SHOP AFTER THE DEATH OF YOUR BROTHER
How to Shop After the Death of Your Brother
Split Lip Magazine
As you walk through the automatic doors, keep this in mind: supermarkets—and now all other things—are arranged wrong. Heavy items like sacks of rice, number-ten cans of tomatoes, and five-liter bottles of your brother’s death are all on aisle 7—after bananas, after white bread, after eggs. Leave a hollow in your cart for the heavy stuff.
Scoutmaster Justin’s on the pier, leg on a post, balls hanging out of his cut-off shorts like that guy on the Fleetwood Mac album. He has to feel that, has to know he’s flashing the ten of us treading water below. “Dive!” he shouts, all Full Metal Jacket, blows and blows his pink plastic whistle. “It’s cold as hell down there! Watch the cottonmouth nests!”
THE GRAIN OF THE LAND, TREVIEWS.COM
How to Love Your Child Without Your Neighbor Reporting You to Child Services
Til has just fallen asleep when an elderly woman bends down to the stroller and gushes, “What a putty baby. Dat a putty baby.” He’s asleep, I whisper, and could she please just fucking move along, too low for her to hear the violence in me I guess, because she’s just getting started. “Putty putty baby. Putty, putty putty baby.”
WE SUPPLIED THE men on the river. Two-gallon canisters of kerosene for their outboards, ten dollars each. There were other fueling points, but a few of the men bought only from my father. It was his smile, our smile—because I was a little version of him. It wrinkled up the skin around our eyes, releasing chemicals in their brains. I’m sure they thought I didn’t know, but I’d seen my face in the water. When I was ten, the river left my parents tangled in a tree.
OTTERS AT THE ZOO
My imaginary son is learning about otters in imaginary third grade. He has to write a report. I think he’s a bit young for reports, but his imaginary teacher, Mrs. Florida, thinks otherwise. Two hundred words. Due Monday.
So I plan a trip to the imaginary zoo though my imaginary son says the fastest way to learn about otters is the Internet. He spends all his internet time reading about sea otters. He’s an official member of the Otter Appreciation Society.