They’ll Be Contacting Me
One of the
managers asked me
would do after I died, and then
stared at me, two hard-boiled eggs
collared green shirts and soft
that sucked the air like
on ceramic tile.
half just to see the yellow-gray
manager was three sizes too large
blank range. I told them
rot or burn, maybe leak out a pungent
maybe grin, like this,
egg on the right cut me short.
said, “would you remain loyal
company?” And it was
the way he
said loyal that annoyed me,
it took on
shape, rising in the center.
only the left half of a sweaty omelet.
dead, I said quickly, “which is
a bit like
loyal,” and they both nodded
and looked at each other,
this was the one answer
there for a run of the mill eternity
sniffed each other’s dread.
both shot their damp
at me and each cocked up
you,” said the first.
Baby’s Buyback and the Cowboy-Man
walks into a small town tavern. He’s wearing a ten-gallon hat.
it is only two quarts.
woman there, sitting on the short end of the L shaped bar, as if
that she’s already gnawed herself down to the short end of Love.
her drink like it keeps her from falling off the edge.
often, one of her eyelids slumps over in the man’s direction like
bubble-gum waitress named Glenda. She’s been watching the Sumo
that’s playing on TV, but now she just wants the cowboy man
to buy her
a drink, which is exactly what he does.
lights a cigarette and offers one to the woman. I just quit,
and watches smoke curl around his finger like a transparent gray
ring. He grins, and with a voice like a pepper grinder says, Me
He looks down at her feet and sees that she has blunt
rectangular toes stuffed into her sandals like too many groceries
in a brown
paper sack. She frowns. Those toes have cost her
He nods up
towards the TV screen where one of wrestlers’ loincloths just
revealing his testicles; blurred yellow eggs. Then he points to
eggs on the counter. Wonder what those are, he says.
like a baby pig.
his hand on her thigh. Her skin is rough, thick, tanned. He
She winks at him again, then feels self-conscious when
lingers for just a second too long before being sucked back
by her brow. It makes her look mechanical. The man orders
They both drink quickly, silently. He glances at her breasts.
pretends to be looking at her drink, but she leans forward and arches
reminds her of a boy she knew in high school. She asks what he
does for a living.
explains to her why he is in between jobs, she thinks about the
She wants to take this man to a barn loft and let him hump her with
clothes on. She wants to slide her hand underneath his shirt and
his nipples. She wants to feel his tongue on the nape of her neck,
his breath fall on her like a heavy tobacco fog.
He asks if
she would still work for a man who did that, even though he
she stopped paying attention before she learned what “that” was.
she says, I’d rather sleep in a damn barn.
grins, his tongue pokes through the place where his front right
should be like a moist pink worm. He tells her that when he got
his wife took everything, even his front tooth. He takes out his
shows her a picture of his son, who is missing the same tooth.
got his daddy’s smile, she says. She starts to smile too, but
makes her think about her own son. She doesn’t have any pictures
of him. He
didn’t live to see his own crib next to her bed. He didn’t live
enough for her to sing him even one note. She almost tells the
but he is
ordering another round so instead she decides again to finally
the tiny quilt in her attic.
Rock lives in Japan where he teaches English. He is a graduate
of the creative writing program at Florida State University.