By Thomas Dean
My mother went once and never came back.
My father took me there and I prayed, while he sat in the car, his window cracked, and smoked cigarettes. I’d imagine him asleep, the car on fire, but when I returned he was always alert: cigarettes scattered among the gravel beside his door. A smile playing on his lips, he’d always ask, “Found the secret of life yet?”
A breath of ash before I’d say, “Still looking.”
Thomas Dean is a MFA candidate in fiction at the Queens University of Charlotte Low-residency program. He has been previously published in Pens on Fire. He is currently working on an untitled short story collection.
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