Dover, Delaware

This is the day her brother has a relapse and shoots heroin. It’s
worse than the days when they were young and he would run with
scissors on purpose. It’s worse than the days he would chase the
neighbor’s fat cat, chucking clods of dirt. It’s worse than when he
would come home with cuts and bruises that were the result of him
“falling down.”

She feeds her pet Clownfish with a shaky hand—catastrophe is rarely
beautiful. The fish rises, struggling in the pump’s current, and eats as
many flakes as it possibly can. She promises herself that she will not
compare her brother to a fish.


Adam Crittenden holds an MFA in poetry from New Mexico State University and serves as an editor for Lingerpost, Puerto del Sol and Apostrophe Books. His work has appeared or will appear in Whiskey Island, Metazen, Matter Press, > kill author, and several other journals. He currently teaches writing in Albuquerque.