by Robert Scotellaro


Ed’s mother is dating a break dancing butcher, 17 years her junior, she met over at Park ‘N’ Shop.  And he pictures his father squirming in the ground, or flinging his harp, whichever the case may be.

Over dinner (steaks), the young butcher recites a compendium of various cuts of meat, as Ed squirms.  Slabs you can cut with a fork.  Describing animal parts like frescoes, while Ed’s mother beams, her hair in long Pocahontas braids dyed yellow.  Rouge nearly in circles like an old doll.

And later, the table and chairs pushed to a corner—her legs crossed, a foot swinging to a pounding beat.  Watches her meaty meat-man spinning on the kitchen floor in his T-shirt, a dragon and little devils inked into taut skin.  Sweaty against the tiled floor Ed’s father put in, one square at a time.  His fat belly hanging over his belt.  Breathing heavily one summer, and stopping often to catch his breath and take a sip of beer.  His wife in rollers, a robe, asking him when the hell was she going to have her kitchen back.  That it was getting late and dinner wasn’t going to cook itself.


Robert Scotellaro has been published widely in national and international books, journals, and anthologies including: W.W. Norton’s Flash Fiction International, The Best Small Fictions 2016, NANO Fiction, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Gargoyle, Great Jones Street, and many others. He is the author of seven literary chapbooks, several books for children, and three full-length story collections: Measuring the Distance and What We Know So Far (Blue Light Press), and Bad Motel (Big Table Publishing). With James Thomas, Robert will be co-editing an anthology of microfiction forthcoming by W.W. Norton.  He currently lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.



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