Thursday, April 10, 2008


It was expected – being leap day – that he’d choose to die on a quad-annual date. His fatalistic demeanor combined with a dark, twisted sense of humor creates a very real sense of inevitability. His tolerant wife and ADD children uneasily sigh relief that he’s alive, while knowing full well they can expect at least four more years of his uneven temperament. Two mere days later, at the icy bus stand, the smelly behemoth stops and opens a gaping door. He enters. Slaps a hairy-knuckle fistful of tarnished coins into the fare receptacle where they tinkle into rightful stacks. He pivots to walk the filthy length to the last open seat in the back. “STOP!” the driver yelps. “You’re shorting me 20 cents!” The man turns to face the accusing, blue-uniformed driver as pure red rage steams fiercely through him…his bloodshot eyes bulging…sweat glistens his wrinkle-creased face…and then, the deafeningly silent explosion of a brain tumor that had been festering for 54 years, plus seven days and 13 hours suddenly turns his eyes to X’s.

road kill slime
the crow’s black beak

by Jeffrey Winke
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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