The sentence spoke of love, fear, beauty, and prison mathematics.
One Sentence Concerning Ants
Robert John Miller
If one is to smoosh a line of ants that have discovered the sugar and coffee remnants of an afternoon snack, one must commence the smooshing before the ants have found their treasure—after even a single nibble, a formerly docile ant may become heroic, moving much too quickly and revealing a new found agility as to make smooshing generally unenjoyable and occasionally impossible—though this is not to argue for the smooshing of all ants nor to deny the species the positive characteristics most often associated with it, such as strength, earnestness, coquetteishness (the way they sneak upon and mingle with the flesh at most surprising times), and resourcefulness (I once witnessed a regiment of a dozen-ish ants transporting the carcass of an insect perhaps five-times the size of any single ant, with all of the ants sharing the responsibility of transporting the prize through a labor rotation that also included scouting out several feet ahead of the troupe and then, with rapid gait, rejoining and guiding the transportation caravan; I am reminded here, of course, of a joke involving multi-legged creatures and footwear, something about the expediency and usefulness of tying so many shoes, though I suspect that if these particular ants did in fact wear shoes they would most certainly be Velcro or slip-on or some incantation presently unimaginable that required no time at all to put on, adjust, and maintain); I do, however, believe that ants in one’s personal space—ants that are clearly maintaining a public nuisance, conspiring to one, or at least complicit in the cause—are ripe for the smooshing and are hereby, for the benefit of those most assuredly few ants that are not aware that such flagrant violations of personal sovereignty will not stand in a free and just world, put on notice: No longer will the sight of your little, shocked faces hamper my wrath.
I can’t wait till I’ve saved enough money from this goddamn gig slinging tacos at the Tastee-Kone and can pay off my old man for the Chrysler cuz then I am so out of this numbfuck place, this tired valley full of dumbshit farmers and their almond trees, and me and Mariah will drive up the coast, past pussy Big Sur and Russian River and disappear into the woods, maybe Oregon, hell, who knows, just like all the hippies did thirty years ago, and she’ll grow organic shiitakes on moldy logs and I’ll farm sensi from the killer weed seeds hidden in the origami crane, the one the Japanese woman on the corner gave to me two years ago in the Haight when I was high as a fucking kite, my right eye bashed in because The Dude said I owed him money, but I needed to score, and this tiny Jap, lady really, though all her stuff was in plastic bags, was selling these folded-paper creatures on the corner, a buck each, and I looked at the money stashed in the cup between her knees, my hand fisted and spit gushed in my mouth just thinking of the baggie, but she looked up at me, her white-streaked hair tied into a tight little — what do you call it, a chignon? — and anyway, she looked up at me and handed me this crane and said, “I will pray for you.”
Upstairs was where Laurel took off her wig at night, and spread a thick cream across her face to wipe away her powder and bright pink lipstick.
A Crowd Across The Street
And it seemed that if I looked across long enough I could see my old self and vice-versa.
Give a Honk and a Wave When You Pass By
No matter whose house it was or what time of day it was or what time of night it was you always honked when you drove by, window rolled down, arm stuck outside it, a couple of quick toots accompanied by a friendly wave this custom was started by my grandfather and continued with my mother and my aunts and now with me and my cousins and is a communion which today brings about tears as I find myself in the car with her, my mom, riding by the cemetery where her parents rest peacefully, her window rolled down, arm stuck outside it as she gives them a couple of quick toots to let them know we’re passing by.
Now that the shower was on, she could think without being heard.
The Duck Affair
His lunchtime walks on the park’s dirt path alongside a set of duck footprints would no doubt get all the more difficult for his wife to understand when, in the park one sun- dappled afternoon, he met a lady with the webbed and tiny feet of a duck.
Smoking is a dying art.
He peels socks away from soles like the skin of ripened fruit.
are the sucker’s currency—don’t tell anyone.
The most erotic part of her day was when the Q-tip, whispering sweet static nothings, pressed against her eardrum.
I didn’t know much about my father, except that he never knew his dad, either.
Micah Dean Hicks
An atheist in camouflage haunts our cemetery, jumps from behind stones and runs out from the tree-line on cloudy funeral days, scatters our umbrellaed mourners and stiff-collared preacher, points to the new grave and yells at them, “The buck stops here.”