Shane Kowalski was born outside of Philadelphia, PA. Currently he is a lecturer at Cornell University. His work appears in Puerto del Sol, The Offing, Hobart, New Delta Review, and other places. He is the author of the chapbook of flash fiction, Dog Understander (Frontier Slumber Press). 

1 short story

by Shane Kowalski

I Open I Wince

 

Two people almost die in a car accident and then they become my parents.
      This deadening weight of dread hangs over me my entire life.
      Before every door I open I wince.
      Falling in love merely feels like falling down, falling through, falling out of the orbit that holds things together.
      Success visits me once or twice and it tastes like puckering lemonade, prickling hot sauce, something that puts its feet up on the furniture in the house of my mouth.
      I breathe. I close my eyes. I try to sleep. I am very good at none of these things.
      Whenever I am able to go home I open the cage I keep the little man in. He shudders out like a pale shadow and offers his hands up to me. I spew into the cupped offering. He moves the cup of his hands to his translucent lips and sips. Clouds move across the moon and become the moon. One of us is satisfied. The other will be soon.