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Grey Sparrow Journal and Press, as of January 31, 2018 will move to

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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by Philip Koblyarz





She asked if I remembered the day from a string of immemorial days from the hazy, distant past, misty as specifically that day was in early fall or was it late winter because the leaves had fallen and were gathered, matted, in a carpeting of musk scented with a hint of tobacco and old newspapers and in the shallow crevices of hills, valley, gully, crick there was a thin dust of accumulated and re-frozen snow which highlighted, or under lit even more so, the damp dark boughs, limbs of trees, so cold they were black and would snap in your grip when you tried to climb their Zen attempt at ladders and how the animals in the nearby zoo, what looked like a group of zebra and tapir barely moving in the chilled air became interested, excited to see life free and roving beyond the world entrapped by chain link fence and followed our crunching footfalls as we left the path to make our own to a someplace that led us either logically, or romantically, to a cemetery we had never know of complete with forged hills crowned with embittered oak trees, crypts, abandoned graveskeeper quarters, civil war dead, tombstones and monuments two of which had our last names engraved and waiting.




This is what he did, sometimes. He would get out of his car, close the door, walk away some distance onto the newly black-paved and white-striped pavement, and at the top of his nasal cavity, emit a high pitched "bwoop-bwip". He wanted others to think he had a car alarm. He wanted others to think such things about him. He really thought that others thought his pinkie ring was real gold. He would drive the freeways with a department store mannequin in the backseat, partially to use the car pool lane and increase his arrival time by minutes, but mostly to drive and gesture wildly, speak loudly with a gaping mouth, point rudely, and converse ecstatically with his passenger, who by fright, submission, or higher class was relegated to the backseat, her head still and ear cocked in wonder and amazement, red wig slipping off to one side of her shiny tan head, who was such a wonderful person, compared to all of his foibles, he really wasn't. He would write memos and even letters to himself because he liked being reminded of things he must one day do, the debts that would be forgiven only in the wake of his death, and he always enjoyed coming home to a welcoming mailbox. He would remove his sunglasses from his face several times a day, not to get a better view of the distance or an object susceptible to nearsightedness, but to check his teeth and hair, and to give  himself a wink. No one else would. It wasn't that he loved himself and only him. Not at all. It was just that he so dearly needed someone, like we all do, to, well, seduce.