I Checked and It Was Still There

“But as they burned, disappearing irrevocably one after the other, you stopped believing that there was any purpose in a book’s existence. Or perhaps the only one to have worked out their purpose was the Sarajevan author and bibliophile who, instead of using expensive firewood, warmed his fingers last winter on the flames of Dostoevsky,

Choice Words

We are at Boots, Etc., exit 149 when driving South in Georgia towards New Orleans. We watch as a man hammers hand-wrought silver tips onto Henry’s new red leather boots. The man uses shining little nails, he squints, he moves his hands as delicately as a pianist, as a mother braiding hair. As he works behind

Metal Birds

Far behind the house’s rear, among moss and dead leaves was a spring. Connected to the spring by a small staircase of large rocks lie a stream that flowed as a river when it rained and ran dry through summer and winter. Insects–gnats, mosquitos, flies–danced above puddled water in the day, the light giving shape

The Bench

A cold Monday night, I was sitting on ‘the bench’. If I told you that I had seen two cats and three hedgehogs as of that point, you could probably tell how long I had been there. My body was cold to the bones and it never stopped shivering as the night got late… but

The Last Forest

Except for the light breeze everything is different from all she had ever known. The temperature, the humidity, that she cannot see the horizon, the colors and the way the light dances over the ground. She has never smelled anything like this before, but it is not unpleasant. It comes closest to a combination of heavy wet mud and the youngest grasses. Behind her she could still have seen the familiar blue sky, green water and yellow sand through the trees, in case she had looked back.

Home Alone

Would you like a sample? asked a woman in a uniform just past the store’s threshold, gesturing out a sample in a small white cup, similarly to how pills were handed out in prisons on TV shows. The rows of food reached nearly to the ceiling of the store, so high they required a forklift to be lowered down to the patrons. A child begged her mother for a sample of an unfrozen fried Wonton appetizer, which her mother steadfastly denied. Sure, Stacey said, accepting the small cup, finding it pleasantly crunchy with afternotes of carrot.

The Ice

We were born in darkness and hunger, and that was all we ever knew. My brother said we were like axes lodged in stone, impotent objects frozen in unknown space. Silence overwhelms us. Wind is a silent phantom, ice a silent beast. Sometimes it crackles with anxiety, sometimes it groans with hunger. Sometimes it terrifies me.