Bangana

I commute to war five days a week in a station wagon the color of an egg. I count on ten minutes of traffic by the Dunkin’ Donuts intersection. When I slam the car door, I count on the tree above my parking spot depositing a green scrim of pollen on my flight suit. What I can’t count on is it being the same war. Most days I operate over Afghanistan, but I fly in Iraq too. I say flew, I say I fly, and unless you’re out there winging around in an F-16 I don’t want to hear a fucking thing about it. I hear a lot about it. Hell, I used to dish a lot about it.

NARRATIVE MAGAZINE - FALL 2014 CONTEST WINNER

 

A Bad Year for Apples

We had chickens, mostly. I didn’t think I could milk a cow. Brett said “Sure you can,” so there was Sadie who let me duck under her. After, when I held the bucket in my arms, it was warm. Brett mended fences. He was good with soil, figuring out the chemistry of it and planting things in the right places. He took care of the goats because I didn’t like the way they looked at me all together.

TRIQUARTERLY - WINTER 2013

 

THE SHAPESHIFTER PRINCIPLE

It was summertime in Flatbush. I had just graduated high school, the fruit stands smelled rotted, and the coolest place to be was the old Dutch cemetery because of the trees and stones. Everyone was shuffling slow down the sidewalks, dirty feet in sandals, swearing they’d kill themselves if the ice-cream truck didn’t stop jingling.

TIN HOUSE - FALL 2012

 

ABANDONED CARS

This is not Lizzie’s story, though she tells it sometimes. Because she earned it. Because she slept with Davis all that summer and soaked the glass out of his hand. It was the summer the Lynches split, and all of Davis’s t-shirts had holes in them and they, the two of them together, burned down half the Christmas tree farm.

THIRD COAST - FALL 2012

 

Back then you knew which girls had husbands in the war because when you kissed them they tasted of envelope glue.

Marjorie said, I can't. It aint right.

How could she resist a flat-footed fool like myself?

She couldn't behind the gazebo. Couldn't by the dry bed crick. Couldn't in The Marquis, twice.

Then he came home to a ticker-tape parade. The war was over.

Marjorie doesn't answer any of my letters. My war stories taste like glue.

Letters In Wartime