Remember that day you caught the sun? When you crested the first of the waves my heart fell as the sleek seal’s head disappeared under the swell and did not return. On land I had no idea of the secret harbored inside you, the birthright of Neptune, Poseidon, fish-gods both.
Slope of sun across streaked red sky, the trajectory traced in letters too large for the eye to comprehend. The time you stared through the pinhole at the sun, seared a memory to take beneath the water. Lighthouses cast steady beams, wide and near, the rocks beneath were where we met. Somehow the pelt didn’t suit you, and that desire to land on shore became too much.
Crushed sand dollars decorated your hair the first time we danced at the foot of the lighthouse all those years ago. Turn and turn again, the quitting sun splashing fire across the sky, we moved in anti-clockwise circles, the land, the sea, the land again. Every now and again the sun would catch the shimmer of trapped quartz in your hair, blinding flash, terrifying premonition of a return to a watery life. On the edge of the rocks the seals collected in pairs, saltskinned and apart, no bitter irony in their eyes.
Today is the official launch day for the Queen’s Ferry Press’s anthology, Best Small Fictions 2015. I’m so excited to be included in the fifty-five stories, chosen by editor, Robert Olen Butler. The story I wrote, “The Third Time My Father Tried to Kill Me,” was published originally by Mojave River Review. The anthology is stuffed to the gills with work from sensational fiction writers such as Stuart Dybek, Ron Carlson,and Bobbie Ann Mason, to name but a few. Two of my favorite stories are Naomi Telushkin’s “Object,” and Jeff Streeby’s “El Paso: July.” All of the writers would be grateful if you’d consider buying a copy on launch day to help propel the anthology to the higher reaches of the Amazon and Barnes & Noble rankings. You can purchase a copy a the following places:
I am so grateful to the editing team of Tara Masih, Kathy Fish, Robert Shapard, Claudia Smith, Michelle Elvy, Claire MacQueen, and Guest Editor, Robert Olen Butler, and if you buy a copy and bump into me I’ll happily sign it for you.
A thing of great beauty, the undercarriage strutted and riveted against the vagaries of the elements. We capitulate in the end because the motion of those upper-arm muscles will not be enough to raise the vessel from the ground sufficiently to clear the fence at the butt end of the field. Down there bleached bones sit in thick mud, jagged eye sockets and loose teeth in broken jaws. The nature of defiance. He bowls from the clock tower end, feet tearing up the turf, the scorched rectangle of summer as hard as tack. Triumvirate. Holy Trinity on pedestals. Bronze and impassive. Slightest movement turns the great bird towards the fence, once again, the creaking of wood and metal singeing the quiet of the morning. Hands let go, away, to the air. To the lakes and the reeds, the frog hollows and the drowned swans.