Why Shit Is Still Like This Around Here & Probably Always Will Be

Finalist: Black Lawrence Press Hudson Prize, 2022 / winner TBA
Finalist: Press 53 Award for Short Fiction, 2022
Short List: The Masters Review Chapbook Open, 2022
Illinois Arts Council Agency, Individual Artist Grant Awardee, 2022
Best Microfictions Nominee: Bath Flash Fiction Anthology, 2018
Third Prize: Bath Flash Fiction Award (UK), June 2018

Why Shit Is Still Like This Around Here & Probably Always Will Be

Joey says his crispest memory of his mom is that ticky-ticky click-click-click of high heels on linoleum in the mornings and the clatter of plastic dishes and bracelets and curse words in the sink and her insistence that he hug her low and fast before she put on her pantyhose Jesus c’mon hurry now be a good boy because they’re expensive and runs were always blamed on him Goddamnit Joey even when he didn’t touch her legs not at all and all his trucks were in the other room besides.

The sound of those wind chimes she hung on the front porch still gets to him now he swears they put him in some kinda mood real fast whenever some girl he’s trying to go home with has them outside her apartment when they get there For fuck’s sake chimes you gotta be kidding me rubbing his nose in the way her sweet smoky smell used to go out the door with her into the cold air and into that loud car of hers down the road and away again an entire heart’s lifetime tick-ticking away in his chest before Mrs. Lewin and her big smell would get there to find him alone truck-handed and gob-faced at the plastic glass of the storm front door.