Low pranks make fine legends. We hear tell but do not witness
the coalminers pinning a work buddy down and sheering

half his beard and head, along with a single eyebrow.
Checkers, they call him. Or sailors who encircle

a …


D talked about South Africa like it was one of his brothers who’d been taught, since birth, to hate himself. Like Harold, his mother’s bastard son, or William, who had sex with the nanny as a child. He told their …

Open Points

The summer I spent working for the Kankakee Valley rural electrical cooperative, the Midwest saw temperatures in the 90′s arrive in early May and last well into September. Rain was scarce and I watched the corn and soybeans struggle in …

Learning to Swim

My mother never learned how to swim. My sisters and I spent our summers in the pool, sometimes with our friends who didn’t need swim caps because the water didn’t curl their hair, and sometimes with our city cousins who …


Again, David Dotson sketches
shark’s teeth on a 40 mm grenade
with a Sharpie—the quick flicks of his hand
ripple the tendon under his elbow,
wrapped in black ink, a tattoo imprinted
in my memory. I laugh every time
he …