In town the dust gathers. In skins of yellow dust the people pray.

The chapel wilts all week, dips in the middle. An old host. Chestnuts hit the roof during service and belief thuds into the hearts of men, frightens the women. They fear the Harvest. They know the roots are here to stay.

Paint peels off an old barn in the sun. A new cat every day.

The farmers reach into the ground, dung clung to the heels of their boots.

The sun tips water in their mouths, and something brazen and heavy clatters down the road. A patch of dust swabbed over the elbow, scabbed over the heathen ground.

The people wait for wheat to curl.

They dig up the virile harvest.

Autographic negligence

A piece of car fell onto my head when I refused to believe in it. The gore was autographic.

The gore left a sore which I worried at my desk, with a tiny pink hairbrush and a math set compass. With a pair of slippery scissors. Without pain. For temporary decades.

There is someone named Kevin in all of my classes. He has a smooth neck and black greasy hair, and I can see from my desk that he wears glasses and eats his lunch in the computer lab, under tables.

His gaming habits, pornographic.

And as the car-song inhabits, I look for clues under his desk and nothing there is autographic.

The night that

The night that I turned thirteen was the same night that the old man down the street died and took up skateboarding and was found almost three weeks later, down by the tracks with canary-yellow fingers and a drug habit that maybe he was just experimenting with them at my age.

The night that she locked her daughter out of the house happened to be the same night that the policeman found a loaded gun in the mailbox of the neighbour’s house, which was chaotic and boarded-up during the day and where a thin woman with blue hair lay on a mattress full of wet wounds with her ear to the floor.

The night that my father lit the corner of his apron on the gas stove, threw it on the burner on his way into the fridge for another beer, looking at me and my mother from across the city where he held the people while they shivered, having to face the snarling waste of their lives, and having to resign from the police force and shake hands with the insurance representative all in one day, and having to look himself in the eye and make a promise to still believe that it mattered if you killed a spider, that it mattered if instead you blew it lightly off your palm and out of the window into the night.

Nine Shapes of One Woman

A favorite short story is about a woman who climbs the stairs in her building, with much difficulty.

The short story is about a woman who wishes her husband didn’t take her for granted.

This short story is about a woman who has to drive her husband’s Mercedes Benz from her exclusive rich upper class area through the poorer districts of Kingston, Jamaica to deliver the car to her husband at his factory on the other side of the city.

This short story is about a woman who suspects her husband is cheating on her.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story is about a woman who is driven into madness because of a rest cure that gives her no room for excitement, change or work – including writing.

This short story is about a woman who suffers from poverty and borrows a necklace from a friend for the ball.

This short story is about a woman who thinks back…

This short story is about a woman who thinks back.

The short story is about a woman who receives the news her husband dies and she gets really happy, she closes herself in her room and starts dreaming about her new life.


Kate Chopin Story of an Hour
Robin Black Divorced, Beheaded, Survived
Erin Wilson comment published on PB Works
Jack Erickson Perfect Crime
Hazel D Campbell See Me in Me Benz and Ting
Diddl Forums
Anon Bookbite, booktrust PDF

On 9.18.14 I googled “short story is about a woman who”. The first sentence of the abstract of the first nine links (sourced respectively) made a sort of poem.

2 Pigeons

We stood, hand in hand, two pigeons on a live wire

when time edged in, under the door like a folded rug.

The neighbourhood cats circling, tails twining below

they stopped at once, to lie on their backs and open

their jaws wide as whales. Our skin prickled with fright

under our feathers and we twisted our heads

all the way around and looked down at them-

their pink-ribbed mouths reminded us

of our bubblegum-thin lungs. Age came to us,

grayed us and curled around us on the wire before


the cats left us alone.