One’s Own

He felt a fool in white tights and the thin Capezio slippers.

Zoritch walked around him, inspecting his body from all angles as though he was a sculpture.

“Turn out your leg, like so,” said Zoritch. “And arms thus.”

He did as directed, watched the mirror as the master studied him.

“You want my opinion, then?” said Zoritch.


“You have an ideal physique for ballet, but at eighteen you are far too old. Boys at the Kirov start when they are five, six. Physical attributes, yes.  But the mental toughness? It is doubtful.”

It was the perfect thing to tell him.

Friday Fictioneers

This is a true story.

A Ballroom Really

Now it’s a barn, a ballroom really
the posts wait,
lit by beams of dust

She pushes me against
the wall, holding me
up entirely

On the phone the faces hang,
mouths open, talking
I cannot hear anything through the window

the shadow of me
pushes back against my shoes
no matter how fast I walk

the night windows
spill yellow light
I step around

the lines of some sidewalks
make deep sense
constantly saying something

the bridge
wider than it seems
when I walk over it

Nothing I now know
looks the same
from the river

Friday Fictioneers


Gratitude List

My sponsor says that times like this I need to run through my gratitude list.

  1. I’m sober, which is ironic considering how many drunken spills I’ve taken and never hurt myself
  2. I’m wearing my winter coat and snowpants.
  3. Though they hurt like hell, I can’t actually see any bones sticking out of my leg or arm.
  4. It’s Sunday, so the mailman won’t come, but it’s not a holiday weekend
  5. The ice storm stopped before I fell so I at least I’m dry
  6. They say dying of cold is the most painless
  7. I don’t have any kids
  8. Probably nobody’ll miss me

The Gates Are Narrow And The Road Is Long

It started with the Bible. She hid it in her room like porn, read it secretly at night. She stopped hanging out with the girls she’d known since pre-school, instead preferring the company of people she would name but never introduce.

Only full names, which was odd. Joshua. Stephen. Bethany. No Jeff or Steph or Liz.

We confronted her when the attendance office called to report she’d not been to school all semester. She sat there, placid as a marble bust, staring through us as though we were apparitions.

We woke next morning to find she was gone.

Friday Fictioneers