dad loves telling the story

of when i was 2

and tried to put my finger in the electrical socket.

he grabbed my wrist

and smacked the back of his own hand

and i burst into tears.


“it was as if i really hurt you,” he says, laughing. “lemme tell you

you never got near those sockets again.”



“i used to make pizza,” he said once

when i was making pizza.

“down the club.”


“oh yeah?”


“yeah. the dough was only like a dollar from Roma’s

and then the sauce from the store was pretty cheap too.

i wish i remembered the recipe.”


he left. phone call

and i was left to stare in disbelief at the oven.


owen and jim are absorbed in whatever

jim’s working for like,

an insurance company?

and he’s getting annoyed at his boss asking him to order his groceries for him.


jim has the body of a man when he wants it.

when he’s playing dungeons and dragons

you believe he would really use a sword to kill.

when he’s just being himself

you doubt whether he’d know which end to hold.

for such a big dude

with such a well-kept beard

he’s rather immature

when he can afford to be.


i couldn’t tell jim this stuff. he wouldn’t get it.

he’d be too awkward

and then run off.


Once at camp

(2 weeks long)

a girl admitted she was jealous

because i always had mail

and she never got a single letter.


sure, i said

but they’re nothing.

it’s my stupid grandmother

writing page after page

a letter a day

about nonsense.

the first few i read

but the rest i didn’t open.

all those pages of indecipherable cursive did was get up my hope

that thomas had finally sat his skinny ass down

and written me.

(i found out later that his skinny ass

was busy cheating on me

but whatever)


but they’re still letters,

she said.

screaming cars

he’s mad because i slept with someone while we were in the process of breaking up

and in an open relationship.

I’m mad because he went on a date with someone 5 days after we broke up

we’re both mad, but we’re both in the wrong

and none of it matters, because we’re already broken up

but that doesn’t stop our screaming

and it doesn’t stop me daydreaming about it years later

getting flustered in college lectures

restructuring dead arguments

perfecting my points

as if i’d ever get another draft.


i still don’t know who was more right.

all i know is i’ve never yelled louder.

i scared myself.

i haven’t yelled like that since.

i always catch myself

promise myself my worst lies in him.