"He is five years old again. He has only ever been five. The sun is bearing down upon his Brooklyn block. You could fry a knish on the pavement." Fiction.
"There is a picture of the three/ Of us, skin showing only/ Around the eyes eyes and in/ Water-streaks on our legs."
"I looked for stories that felt close enough to claim as mine, yet distant enough to claim as “fiction.” My grandparents, Guka in particular, served as entry into a world I didn’t feel I had access to—a world of painfully real people with proper, lived lives."
"At three am, everything is different. The skyline floats / on the east river while the emperor looms dark and silent. / Nothing means what it did when sleep fills your throat."
"There’s this photograph of my dad, from the late 1990s, in an old album somewhere on a bookshelf. He is standing on a rock, laughing. His hair is wavy, and he’s tan. The ocean is behind him. "
“‘You ever see someone choke on one of those?' Vito asked the vendor, pointing to a hot dog. From the other side of the metallic counter, the vendor’s eyes slowly shifted up from his phone." Fiction.
"She recalls a sweep of red, a hollow clanging bell, a smoky scent, a flick of hot spit or sweat flying out far from a bony, painted boy."
" I was a person who didn’t watch scary movies. I had no interest in them, and I had no problem telling whichever friends I was hanging out with that I would not watch or go to see any kind of horror or thriller film."
"Beth has been in traffic now for a horrendously long time. She has severe road rage, the diagnostic kind for which she has a sponsor. She calls as I leave work to tell me this in her quintessential Beth parlance, her voice an odd but unambiguous synthesis of Bobby Durst and Lindsay Lohan."
"Until my freshman year, I’d written off movies as 120-minute wastes of energy to be forgotten shortly after."