Fiction

   The pain of looking at him strapped down on the hospital bed was almost too much to bear. Tubes and wires running from his nose, mouth, and arms connected him to various bottles, electronic devices, and, it seemed, even to the wall...

   I’m lying in bed cuddled up to my 15-year-old daughter listening to her heart. It’s strong even though she thinks it’s broken. When I tell her this, she lets out a soft sob, and I lean into her, closer.

   When I was nine my best friend Marcus and I discovered that the Good & Plenty machine at Epic Encores Video Store was broken and no longer required our quarters; the knob just turned and turned, raining down as much licorice...

    She gave me a smile so littered with teeth that you would have thought she needed two sets of lips to cover them. Then she blew me a kiss.
    “Oh Jack, you were supposed to catch it.” I...

Part Two
   One week to the day before his 45th birthday, Michael Westerman, rushing up a staircase, got winded. He closed his eyes and tried to pull himself from whatever had seized him. It gripped his back...

   One week to the day before his 45th birthday, Michael Westerman, rushing up a staircase, got winded. He pulled the banister until he made it to the top. He felt like sitting, right there on the floor, but instead arched forward and...

And wait for whispers of the miracle to come
As strange side walkers exchange awkward glances,
Lucky couples stride hand in hand and laugh the night
    away like the blackbird it is,
Unrecognizable...

   On sunny days they’d mostly work outside, tending the vegetables and flowers planted in the Victory garden that climbed up the backyard all the way to the old barn. Inside the barn a Model A Ford sat on blocks under a canvas...

   My favorite aunt, Frieda, drank her Scotch on the rocks and told me a love story.               She was actually my great-aunt, wrinkled yet spry in loose, soft trousers as we...