"As they passed under the water the eyes closed, and this sent a
reverberation through Craig that was not relief. He waited, watched as the
lips parted and the mouth filled with brack. He resisted the limp-flailing
arms that slapped at his chest, his shoulders, never reaching his face. He
wondered how long it would take such a man to drown. He did not think it
would be long."
"It barked once before it turned and ran—barked, because she had no
other word for it, and not really once, but in a strange, reverberating
chorus, a chaotic rumble like a hundred dogs barking, like a pack falling
upon the fox: and there was that squealing in it too."
"She wasn't sure exactly how it had started; nothing particular was said,
no agreements made, but as they had walked side by side around the city—the
Met, Battery Park, St. John's, everything you're supposed to see—she had
known that they were suddenly, intensely together, and each word had become
a stitch, a little stab followed by a pulling closer."
"I do not know what would have happened if Mike had ever been fast enough
to tag us (if it could, after so long, have been as gentle as that).
Perhaps we would have become the monsters and he would have become one of
us and the sweethearts would have poured out of him onto the grass or leapt
up from the ground to swarm us. Or perhaps the game would have ended."
"As Miriam came to stand beside him, he turned to show her what he was
holding, though he did not look at her: it was the body of a bird, its
feathers standing out perfectly white against its tiny pink beak and orange
feet. It was small and deflated looking, with its neck extended and laid
against He's palm in a soft curve, an oddly inviting angle, like a
beautiful virgin in an old movie."
"Along a dried riverbed she found a place where a cow had died. All around
the scrubby grass was flattened, the stalks bent or torn, and she wondered
if the animal had been thrashing. Her husband had told her how they starve,
the old ones who can't eat, or the weak ones when the summer is so hot that
the ground cracks and plants shrivel. He'd told her how they lie on the
ground and paddle their legs, scoring dark marks into the earth, as if they
could swim to the end of the world and pull themselves out of it. He'd
told her this to frighten her, and had succeeded."
"Lucille Fitch, despite a slim frame and a well-bred delicacy, gave birth
to five children in her relatively short life. Her first, Peter, died at
only a few weeks old of SIDs—or crib-death as it was called at the time—an
event which shook her confidence badly, but which the doctors assured her
was an unexplainable and unrepeatable as the history of the world itself.
Her last child, Michael, was a mongoloid. The middle three were normal, or
at least healthy: Sarah first, then Charles, and then, to Lucy's complete
surprise, an atomic bomb."
"Nora could not remember what exactly he had done to get the bottle of
whiskey, if she had ever, indeed, heard that part of the story. She would
always pause at this point in the telling and take a long breath, as if to
leave space for the missing words, before going on to explain that the next
time the prospectors saw Fenstick, two weeks and nearly 100 miles later, he
was covered from head to toe in black and green bruises and holding a full
bottle of Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey."
"One day my grandfather was out driving. This was after the war, after my
grandparents were married and living in Pennsylvania with my aunt Sarah,
before my father was born. As he was driving, he became sure that he had
hit something back along the road behind him, so he turned around to
"I was born at the age of thirty-two with a Ph.D. in
comparative religion. It happened in May, almost five years ago now,
when a small blood clot that had been forming in the muscle of my
calf unhooked itself from the wall of its blood vessel and went
published in Summer 2010 issue of The Writing Disorder
"But he knows that if he touches her now he will later remember the
path his hands took, and he will think of it every time he looks at
her body—the invisible, ineradicable snail-trails he's drawn onto
Last Dance at Poplar Ridge
published in issue five of Pank
"For my own part, I just worried that they'd be lonely—heaven is
full of old people and babies and doesn't offer much for teenage
girls. I imagine them, listless and awkward in their wrinkling gowns,
stuck with each other, and no one else dressed up."
The Inland Seas
published in issue two of Amor Fati
"The facts are widely known: On September 25th, 1998, a rain storm
started in Western Massachusetts. The rain, while heavy at times, was
not unseasonable, and outside of a higher than average number of
traffic accidents, local news stations reported nothing out of the
ordinary that evening."
"By the time she had found him she was transformed completely (if,
in fact, she had ever been otherwise) into the wild, knotted hair,
the wilder eyes, the badly-abused clothes, and the hostile looks
that made people on the street assume there was something wrong with