The River Comes and Comes

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“You remember what I promised?”

“I do.”

“What I promise?” he asked.

“You said, ‘Baby, I love you and I will love you until this river runs out. Until Tennessee and Arkansas kiss across the mud.’ Don’t you remember what I said, Papa?”

“You said: Baby, I’ll be with you until the birds fall out the sky.”More

The War of Naked Aggression

The War of Naked Aggression

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“When Sherman took Savannah,” she whispered to his ear. “He left it unburnt.” Her head rested below his left shoulder, away from the room of eyes. “That’s how I’d like to leave you.” More

The Zoo Lion Is Like a Hurricane

The Zoo Lion Is Like a Hurricane

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The lion gets out of the zoo and everyone is afraid.More

Parental Peace Talks

Parental Peace Talks

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If our son shows an interest in anything—typing, math, science, literature, the law, the pop-culture and psycho-social implications of preserving the Nixon-as-a-symbol-of-what-exactly? in American life—we’re gonna encourage the hell out of it. At least that’s what we’ve said we’ll do.More

The Stillness of Remembering

The Stillness of Remembering

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After two more drinks they went back to the room. Matt stripped down to his red Hanes boxer-briefs, Warren in a pair of shorts. Matt lay in the center of the bed and Warren lay on his side on the edge of the bed. Warren heard Matt crying; it was the familiar sound of muffled air slowly eking out of a tightened throat. Warren turned, rolled over so he was up against Matt’s body. He threw out his left arm and wrapped it around Matt’s chest, pulled him close.More

Bounce Pass

Bounce Pass

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He laughed. “Did you know there’s a better chance of becoming a pro-baller than there is of becoming an astronaut?”

I let out a huff of air. “You glad you went pro instead?”

He didn’t answer, so I turned to him. He stared at the water, shaking his head, some play he didn’t make bouncing across his mind.More

Truth is Violence, Violence Truth

Truth is Violence, Violence Truth

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Violence is all about the truth. You have to hand it to violence — everyone knows where they are with it.More

Snotknockers

Snotknockers

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He lowered his head to spear the bully in the chest, maybe knock him out of the game without the help of the refs. He imagined himself a rocket, charging through the cosmos. The moment his head made contact with Peewee, he realized why bullies always got what they wanted.More

Dares

Dares

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They drive down the back of the mountain, past a place called Pine Swamp Trailer Park, where an obese redheaded boy in camo pants and orange hunting vest chases after them and falls forward, as though pushed by unseen hands.More

Hans

Hans

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I do remember Mommis and the pack. I think this is pure. We were out hunting I mean out prowling looking for food the sun was setting and it was just so beautiful and Mommis is howling and so we do too, all of us, even me, and I mean I know the Black Hills are in South Dakota now but then it was like this is all of existence, you know? More

Splinters

Splinters

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My nightmares don’t have a pattern, but lately they’ve been about my dead father-in-law. I am walking down an unlit hallway, searching for the light switch. My hand traces the paneling, catching splinters from the knotty pine. A fluorescent light shines on James, like he’s on a stage, but he spoils the moment when he points to my bleeding finger.More

We’re Trying to Tell You

We’re Trying to Tell You

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A little respect is all he’s asking for, but of course we ignore him, it’s either that or tell him to go fuck himself, but in our last kids-only family meeting, Jett said we had to keep Dad on the even keel, that if we wanted to avoid counseling and a barrage of new medications, if we wanted to avoid the screaming and the threats, we’d better lay low, that turning up the volume on our iPads was a better way to go about ignoring Dad’s new crisis. Besides it kept Mom from getting her headaches, from binge-watching those trashy Housewives shows.More

Tiger

Tiger

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I came back into the room to see her on the edge of the bed, her bare back to me, brushing her long black hair like the mane of some majestic animal you might admire and one day hope to befriend or even fall in love with. On her violin shaped back, a big tattoo of a tiger, baring its teeth and ripping red in her flesh.More

Marriage Laundry

Marriage Laundry

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Sam was teetering underneath that fragile leave-stay threshold. She had to make it just past that…More

How We Got Here

How We Got Here

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He’d felt the particular ache of a thing compressedMore

Two Stories

Two Stories

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He remembers the acid, melting his skin like a slice of cheese left on the griddle. The smell of hair burning. He remembers the hospital, his ex-girlfriend leering at his singed-off eyebrows, her bottom lip sprouting a cold sore. She was too busy trying to shove a binky in the mouth of the baby strapped to her chest to notice that her nipple was popping out of her shirt and he was too tired to tell her. And he remembers that today is his brother Rob’s birthday.More

“The car had been through a reconstructed transmission, a busted carburetor, and was an absolute lush for Valvoline.” – Jordan Farmer, “Brothers”