First Aid

I have probably failed as a father, thinks Marshall, as he pumps gas and watches through the windshield as his daughter sucks on a cigarette while apparently thinking herself out of sight.

How did she get so good at …

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Hammer & File

The January that William fell down—1968—his father had plugged Christmas lights one strand into the next and laid them circular-wise around the banks of the skating pond immediately behind their house. The bulbed string haloed William as he lay on …

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In Paradise

When I was young and a good listener, a man told me he had lost his soul. 

We sat on a strip of flattened grass outside the gas station I’d cranked my junker car into. I was waiting for a …

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Memento Mori

On the morning a week after Marcelina Ngonadi died, the four stooped sister-friends are pensive, knowing that Henrietta will be the next. As they look upon Marcelina’s gleaming casket with its gold handles and at her jewelry—silver earrings and a …

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