What Not to Do with a Bastard Child
Matthew Salesses

The boy heard I had been in the slammer, but there were worse things for him to hate me for. I said, "Your mom would roll over in her grave," as I showed him the scrapes on my wrists. He gazed at the wifely woman, not his mom, ever the bomb dog for subtext. I said, "I didn't mean it that way." I said, "Yes, she's your mom now." I tried to tell him I didn't speak in double meanings. But he knew how I watched him sometimes. I had seen his mother naked, one night, and now here he was, a mash-up of my current life and a life I didn't remember, or want to.

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