Pace Pick up the pace, drink Diet Pepsi, more Diet Pepsi, run to your office, like Chariots of Fire, stretch your smile too wide. Try to dance to Tchaikovsky, get the body pumping, that doesn’t work, crank up Taylor Swift. Finish grading papers two weeks ahead of time, drink just enough wine at the faculty party, laugh, cracked laughs, then have more caffeine, some pills. Now, the sheets feel too thin and sleep’s so close, but your eyes won’t close. You feel that impulse, pushing you to pick it up, pick it up, but you just want to sink into darkness.
Backyard Backyard was once a verdant kingdom, a space to dance beneath the moon, watch blossoms blow, make love. We smoked indicas at midnight, watching smoke unfurling, curtains opening once-young minds. Now, the grass has been crushed by gravel. It’s a patio. A barbeque grill is coated in rust and blemishes. She called barbeques senseless, impractical. Even after I streamlined things, because I thought streamlining meant salvaging. I sit at the patio table. Credit card bills, utilities, alimony, and damages to the drywall demand dues, the byproduct of flying fists. The moon murmurs and tugs. I can’t look. Brightness always fades.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His stories,
“Soon,” “How To Be A Good Episcopalian,” and “Tales From A Communion Line,” were nominated for
Pushcarts. Yash’s work has been published or is forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, The Journal of
Compressed Creative Arts, and Ariel Chart, among others.