Three Stories

By - Apr 6, 2018


The Comedian

The smell is rusted and wet. Heavy, how iron can smell when it sits in the rain and the dew and the fog.
     The crows have all gone north. Coyotes stay out of town. Insects are slow.
     Behind the house, other side of the fence: the breeze.
     You think of luxury, of cholera in faraway lands.
     It seems closer to the neighbor’s. You haven’t seen him lately. Someone should call.
     Friends drop by. They park by the fence, climb out. You meet them at the fence, unlock the gate.
     “What’s that smell?” they say.
     “Something back there,” you say. “It doesn’t seem to be human.”
     They think you are trying to be funny, and you are.



Candlelight and Flowers

“Fuck me,” he said, “is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever heard a woman say. I don’t mean a fuck me said while sitting side-by-side on a couch or while waiting on a bed for the clothes to come off—a fuck me as in let’s fuck. I mean a fuck me said while she’s naked on her back underneath you, her legs apart and pulled up by her hands in the crooks of her knees, her eyes closed and mouth opened, you naked and hard and pushing into her, pinning her down, and her engulfing you in the moments when the both of you are at your most powerful and your most vulnerable, while the wet spot growing in the bed underneath her is still warm and she wants to be with you, has opened her warmth and softness to you and it pleases her, you do, you are pleasing her, you, skinny and snaggle-toothed, helping her to reach a place inside herself where it’s not about you anymore but rather it’s passion and a sort of joy and courage you’ll never understand and a woman who opens herself to them and is opened by them so much that she abandons fear, half-whispering to you sweet trusting words that could cause no end of trouble if you turn out to be not quite the person she thought you were when she asked you into her bed. Fuck me—it’s practically I love you.”
     “No, it’s not,” she said. “It’s not.”




He walks every morning to the Evanston outhouse. There he turns and walks back.


He spends every night sipping bitter tea from tiny white cups. A woman who never grows old sits with him. Together they fend off meaning and sleep.


The fog is heavy over the lake. Gulls scream. Water drips from the sky.