Upon Reading USA Today at Midnight
Sean Lovelace

They are done with bathtubs. Now they drop their children from bridges. A shadow swoops the yard, at the window glass. My heart fluttering. Could be anything in the night: opossum, neighbor's obese cat, sigh of the wind. Maybe some traveler rifling my shed, to steal away the leaf blower. I wish him well. Inside my orange kitchen, along the baseboard, a row of crumbly dunes. Look like coffee grounds. "Could that be termites?" my wife asked me. I said, "Yep." Jennifer Lopez doesn't like oversized diamonds. Everyone in this house is either drifting quietly in night-clouds of thought, or simply asleep, finally. I'm not suited for family life. Sometimes I feel I'm being pulled backwards. Tugged. But I do a decent job, really. And I'm grateful to get a glimpse at my heart, a good one; and I don't feel the need to look away. Do I drink too much? No doubt. Even now, I grip a green bottle, as I learn a new phrase: negative seigniorage: meaning a penny costs 1.7 cents to produce. The creek sweeps along the backyard. Nibbles at the sloping grass. Out there are seven deer, and one lean coyote; I've seen them. Whispering by. Yesterday my son stared up from Bob the Builder and said, "Dad, you're going to die first. Then mom." This weird stirring in my chest. This blue clutch of love. A long, still moment, and I said, "Well…ok. Thank you for telling me." On a bookcase, in a glass bowl, the gold and purple of a flowing fish. Bred to fight; and now levitating between Tony Robbins and a ceramic Buddha (made in China—I swear to you). A human being will mimic anything. I mean anything. I haven't even finished, and all is ruined. All I want to believe. A man in Florida. Loads them into the car: one, two, three…That miles-long rib bone of steel spanning Pensacola Bay. That great height. This flailing, and fall.

Sean Lovelace's collection of vsf, HOW SOME PEOPLE LIKE THEIR EGGS, won the Rose Metal Press contest and should be out before the end of the year.

To link to this story directly: http://wigleaf.com/200908midnight.htm

Read other Sean Lovelace stories from the archive.

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