How To Call Off Your Engagement

Approach her where she works at the coffee shop; this is urgent. Use the voice, as subtle as an emoticon scar on your forehead. It sounds like you are reading words but what comes out is Midwestern passive aggressive for let’s get out of here. Wherever that is.

What Happens In A Christian College Dorm Room

I met her in a coffee shop. The one where Bible studies meet in that circle of scavenged chairs, where only the attractive women wear wedding bands or are chained to their initial-inscribed sacred texts. You know the ones. That suburban happiness: too happy for their own good, like they are running from something.

Finding Her Middle Name

We ended up at her place, an apartment with furnishings out of a catalog that I would never own. Everything new and not our age. Clean: the vacuum’s tracks incised like initials carved in tree bark, the couch that no one sits on, for guests. Everything unopened, still sealed. I didn’t think we could ever be this careful.

Quitting and Quitting Quitting

At work, the metal butt-urn on the loading dock is smoldering like a Dickensian or Mary Poppins chimney. The butts are on fire again. It smells like burning pvc pipes, Home Depot’s plumbing section sacked by early first century marauders. I used to contribute, but it burns without me…

Find Others Amid The Lost

I cry and the tears look like semen stains on my comforter. All I want is to cease thinking about the sad intermissions of things coming out, it matters not from where — I just want these DIY eye drops to abate like construction or war, things that remove us from each other.

The First Heartbreak

Except: a couple gets out of their respective cars in the coffee shop parking lot. She embraces him. No, wait—kisses him, jumps, straddles him like she did on those old department store rides powered by coins—and this is the most beautiful thing you have seen in a while.

You Treat Us Like A Museum Artifact

In the Metra station I had a feeling I would see someone I knew; sometimes, I hate knowing innate things about to happen in my life. A guy touches my backpacked shoulder, a friend-cum-acquaintance that graduated high school a year after me. We sit together on the train.

Bar Napkins

Once I was at a music venue and the woman next to me asked if I wanted something from the bar — I didn’t want a drink (I told her oh I’m okay), but wanted to talk to her — and I never saw her again; she never came back; I’m not used to these social cues.

My Father Says My Heart Will Kill Me

We talk about recycling and coming generations, how mine and the following will be healthy. He is skeptical about global warming and speaks through his remaining teeth.

In The Early 2000s

I told Jesus to go to hell and then cried to the sound of my crying. It was liberating; something was lifted. I’ve read that he carried something heavy somewhere important.