This week’s artwork is “Blue” by G.J. Mintz
by McKenzie Schwark
The sun floods through the doors and washes the train car in amber. He enters with his hair tucked neatly into a grey beanie; his beard auburn and misshapen. He settles into the seat across from me and becomes a silhouette against the mid afternoon sun. I could imagine loving him for a lifetime full of Thursday mornings and red-headed babies. I bless myself for snoozing my alarm and missing my train. He is looking at me. He shifts. We are watching each other and smiling coyly back and forth. He exits downtown, dissipating between State and Lake.
Ship of Fools
by Paul Rogalus
Red-headed drunk guy in a Red Sox hat on the “Ship of Fools” harbor booze cruise gives his “girlfriend” his ATM card, and she tries it at the bank machine fifteen feet away. “Mike, it doesn’t work,” she calls. He smiles stupidly and shrugs, and she uses her card. She turns around with cash, and he asks her for a Sam Adams Summer Ale. She gives him the finger and goes upstairs to dance to “Sugar Magnolia.”
by Jackson Freud
Jason photographs the dead. He keeps a police scanner in his apartment, races the cops, coroners and paramedics to crime scenes. He has photographed jumper-suicides, murdered men and women, car crash victims. The pictures are tacked to a corkboard in his kitchen. “This is sick,” Sam says. She moves out, leaves Jason with his dead friends. He doesn’t mind though; he enjoys the silence. One morning he snaps a faceless man, pins the Polaroid to his board. He studies it for minutes, hours, days. He discovers a lump on his testicle and prays the next vulture captures his good side.
by Hasen Hull
Approached her in the usual club and started with the usual line. We’re both young and beautiful; we talked about ourselves and pop music. To seal the deal, I made her laugh, entertained her like a child. If we were in another world, we could find a hotel with a vacancy. Instead we’re back at mine, loud and lurid as we screw, two strangers at the peak of liberation. After, she gets up and uses the bathroom. Through the wall, I can hear her pissing. It’s the only noise I’ve heard all night I can relate to.
On the Detroit-to-Chicago Line
by Brent Fisk
My uncle, a brakeman for Amtrak who lost a son himself, told this story many times: A young man walking, his back to the train. Between cities at speed, it could take them a mile before they could stop. No horn could make him look back, step off. Firemen cut a path through the trees so they could wash what was left of the man free of the grill. My uncle split a bottle of bourbon with my dad, and he’d wink when he’d notice me listening behind the couch, say, “Get your uncle a few more cubes of ice.”