Pay Day

Fiction by

I’m no good at this job, I feel too sorry for the people I call, they seem lonely. They ask me how old I am, say I sound young and ask me if I’m in college. What do you care, Peggy will say. Work the loneliness, take as long as it takes to milk sympathetic, you’re not being timed here, but at the end of the shift, you better by God have four leads ready to go.More

The Risk of Man

The Risk of Man

Fiction by

Thank God, he kept that punch to himself, gem worth savin, he thought again and almost laughed, but that would’ve been at himself his life his risk his fear and of course, she’d have known it was only for of about and at her, and he wasn’t mean, no not like that or any other, but if she didn’t understand then, she never would be worth any further explanation down the road, despite all they shared, the two things, the OK coffee and decent sex.More

Jobber

Jobber

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Mack had two roles. The first was to lose every match and the second was to ensure his opponent appeared like a winner, no, an alpha in the process. He was, in wrestling industry terminology, a jobber. No more than that. It would never be more than that. Not for him. Too skinny, the boss said. No abs, he said. Worse, no charisma. The other wrestlers got the wins. Mack didn’t.More

Choreography of the Rind

Choreography of the Rind

Fiction by

Isaac Macedo’s daughter continued to mangle the spoon about in the pitcher of lemonade, trying to scoop out the fly that had landed in the fresh brew, each ripple and wave leaving the fly somewhere new, on some glacier, on some seed, still in the yellow meant to be swallowed. Isaac thought of taxidermy.More

Bob

Bob

Fiction by

I thought of the scars all over Bob’s torso and knew it was only a matter of time before they forced that merry tale down my throat too. Everybody delighted in telling these gruesome horror stories—hangings and decapitations, old men flogged in public while children looked on, laughing. They savored the details, the humiliations, as though they fed some hunger I didn’t know about.More

Confirmation

Confirmation

Fiction by

How do I find joy? How do I cure this illness? You know how my mother died. They call what my father had alcoholism now. He drank himself to death. Is that any more dignified than a bedsheet noose?More

Fighters, Circa

Fighters, Circa

Fiction by

Flash dance of hands; locking then losing the gaze; heaving yet measured breath; the sliding of grip on sweated flesh; the knotting of legs; the intervention of gravity; grunts and growls; saliva arcing in the light; a final plunge of connection and then, for a moment, stillness. More

Brothers

Brothers

Fiction by

I too had things to say and felt the strain of the smile on my face. I never thought it was possible to get out of myself: the loathing, the insufferable small space of my house, my future, my dead brother.More

Collage of Sport as Self, Self as Sport

Collage of Sport as Self, Self as Sport

Essay by

I loved the old room, though it was dim and ugly and old, stank of the pungent antiseptic soap we used to mop the mats and the brininess of sweat that couldn’t really be scrubbed away. It smelled like what it was: a box of straining bodies on a soft floor, blocked in by padded walls, a training ground that contained as much of yourself as you were willing to release.More

The Genie

The Genie

Fiction by

Jesus, I thought. Treasure. Real treasure. I didn’t say a word to the neighbor kid. All I thought about was his snot hands and my lamp. I knew what I had to do. I picked up a clump of dirt, and I thew it at his head.More