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THE PREVIOUS ADVENTURES OF POPEYE THE SAILOR

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It's an easy thing to take out an eye.

The Velocity of a Clitoris

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Unfortunately, the question had a similar impact on me that a command not to have thought about rhinoceroses would have—once suggested, I could think of little else

What Keeps Us Awake

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On Friday evenings they play Scrabble, a whole crowd of them. They use books to keep score, page numbers, instead of a long column of pencil scratches. They organize themselves into teams; the English majors all together, versus biology, history and horn players. She and he…

This is Why We Can Never Have Nice Things

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At age eleven, I murder the coffee table. I gouge with every available implement: thumbtacks, Lefty scissors, the plastic hand of my Barbie accomplice (who really should have known better). It is a slow death. In the end, there is nowhere to hide the body. When I am…

Window.

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I wanted to kill her –

The Intercom

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I have never met Joe’s brother, of course.

Protect

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The fabric on the waiting room chairs is stained and matted, but has been cleaned over and over.

THE SAME STORY

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Our house was big, red brick, with off-white walls that watched over us while we slept, while we prayed for our souls to be kept, while we shared bath water and bunk beds and the secret of the back closet we will die with and never reveal.

Pink

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The midsummer sky is black above us when I hear Dad say my name, quiet like I’ve never heard before. I let my hands drop away from my face and crawl towards him.

Girl With Floral Basket.

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“Excuse me,” said the girl. “You aren’t allowed to eat your own food in here.”

Not finding you

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Had this been a film, I’d have seen you at once. Extreme close-up: my finger on the green button that opens the door to the park. Long shot: my leaving my bike at the entrance. Slow shot: my walking down the narrow stone path.

Upon Learning the Fetus Has Fingernails

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Upon learning the fetus has fingernails, Missy texts her boyfriend: It has nails! He won’t reply because he’s just left for war, but she does it just the same.

Life Interrupted.

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Sorry, did that hurt?

Dragonfly

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Dragonfly She danced out of the burning rubble, wrapped in a shawl made of iridescent silk. It must have been her grandmother's. Her arms were wings, the silk translucent and fluttering. Fire fell from the sky. Thatched roofs, walls of mud-daubed sticks, the huts…

Pentagon City

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I had been in bed for a couple of days and by this I mean sleeping for fifteen or sixteen hours at a time. I don’t think that I believed in God anymore. I no longer knew how to stay awake.

The Grief Benches

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I pass the Grief Benches on my way to work. No one is on them today. Last night I saw a couple there, him wet eyed and her with her head down. She scrunched her eyes tight as I passed and I remember thinking she was a fraud. It's alright if you don't want

Mario's Three Lives

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The plumber has three lives left or else he is already dead.

Retreat

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We are in search of free hor d’oeuvres, me and Jane – Jane from H.R., Jane who is exactly as plain as her name implies, Jane, who, for now anyway, for this company retreat, is my kindred spirit in broke-ass hangover land.

The Plinktonians

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Brian had spent the morning filling out applications all over Knox County, and by noon he was more than ready to call it a day. But apparently there was one last squirt of virtue in him, because heading home he saw a Help…

Jack

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We’ve already agreed on a date when Jack posts some new pictures of himself. I have to swallow. Hard. In four days Jack’s become twenty years older! On Thursday, a boyish thirty-something was smiling at me from my PC. This Monday I find myself stari

Girlfriend

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As a rule, she calls me whenever she’s waiting for her train or bus. ‘Hiya… How’s life-’ she starts off sweetly. Even though I should know better by now, I can only respond in the same old way. I’ll say: ‘Hi Kate!’. Next, I’ll try to te

I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien

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You can’t start living in The Netherlands just like that; you need to be registered first. Once an official has confirmed you’re the person you claim to be, you can start in a job. Once an employer has confirmed you’re employed, you can apply for yo

To the Palace

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Less than a week ago, I was still a republican. It’s strange what an invitation for a job interview at the Palace does with your principles. I’m especially nervous because the interview’s late in the afternoon. I could go to the be

Balloons.

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One for the boys I think.

And Should We Meet Again...

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Your image is etched upon my soul…an unbearable portrait frozen in time.

Thick Rib of the Lamentation Animal

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This violin of oneself, this rough strum of I, arc of wing over thick rib. This masturbatory chirping like the meat of God clenched in your teeth, an apostrophe giving aloneness possession over the inarticulate, a bridge between chords.

Late Summer.

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By her side, her daughter had become a woman in just one short afternoon, or had it been a lifetime?

The Greatest Public Works Program

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Hope wakes starving/ in the storm,/ to off and hunt.

A Christmas Mistake

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But that night we were happy, looking all around at the bright lights of the several cities that we could see.

Letting Go.

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Alone now and grief stricken, he’d forgotten a time when she could remember…