A Horse Named Special Take

A red stallion, iridescent in the sunlight, stands on thick rubber mats. His coat shines like sequined cinnamon. Raw flesh, days old and drying, dangles from a wound on his chest the size of a shovel blade. I lanced the abscess, says a tall, rawboned cowboy—proud, somehow, of the carnage. The cowboy squints through a microscope… Continue reading A Horse Named Special Take

Broken Heart Shaped Box

Max noodles on his guitar. He plays slowly, in a minor key. Both are unusual for him. I sit down and give him a look. “What’s goin’ on?” He says, “Pandora left hope in the box, right?” “Far as I know, yeah. Why?” “Was that kindness or a cruel joke?” © Copyright 2020 by Jim… Continue reading Broken Heart Shaped Box

Somebody Tell Me

I used to change towns every time I changed girlfriends. These days, friends say I change plans more often than they change lanes. Never gonna get anywhere like that. They say. They’re right. Problem is, I lack the guts to trust my dreams. Somebody tell me how to change that. © Copyright 2020 by Jim… Continue reading Somebody Tell Me

Ideas, Waves, and Mud

if you start at all you start with something more or less like an idea or maybe something more like a hope and an idea riding a wave or perhaps its better to say a hope and an idea all wrapped up together so they make their own wave and at first all you do… Continue reading Ideas, Waves, and Mud

Silence Speaks

Mary frowns when her kids and mine run outside to bang pots and pans on New Year’s Eve. I’ve had a couple drinks, so I go ahead and run my mouth.  “It’s okay, Mary,” I say, “let the kids have their fun.” My neighbor shakes her head. “They better not lose that cast iron,” she… Continue reading Silence Speaks

Church and State

It’s happy hour and the TV’s yakking about separating church and state.  “It’s a con,” Eamon says. “They’re both screwing us.” “You think it’s that bad?” I say. “Good cop, bad cop. We might as well be between the devil and the deep blue sea.” “You mean that?” “Open your eyes,” Eamon says and hoists… Continue reading Church and State

No Plan

The pen wasn’t worth stealing. The can of black beans and steak seasoning weren’t either.  He shoulda got a can opener. Then he could eat seasoned beans. Nick asked himself, “Why the pen?”  But Nick never had a plan. Not when shoplifting and not in the rest of his life. © 2020 by Jim Latham… Continue reading No Plan

Birthday Boy

Twenty bucks is all Katie’s got that’s not going to rent, gas, and electricity.  The register flashes $23.19. Katie surveys cake mix, frosting, candles, eggs, ice cream, and balloons, weighing cost against Kody’s smiles.  “Take the ice cream off, please?” Austin presses a button.  $19.70. Katie hands him crumpled bills and scrounged coins. Austin sorts… Continue reading Birthday Boy