SHADOW STAINS- by Matthew Corkins

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Shadow Stains

by Matthew Corkins

Chubby tricycle girl disappeared during a dry spell.

My house didn’t have A/C: I drank Corona on the porch, watched their house. I used to see her riding on our street, never could tell how old she was, barely knew she was a girl, being obese, going around shirtless. She could’ve been showcased on tabloid talk shows.

I’d wondered if her parents knew where she went. Until they went door to door asking. Her brother donned camouflage, started keeping guard outside, pacing, banana pointed up like a handgun. He eventually wore a path in the grass.

I liked to imagine she took her tricycle, went on some great childhood journey, rode off toward the sun, as if chasing a giant, golden jawbreaker. An adventure, like in Flight of the Navigator.


My ex and I no longer slept together, said because we’d sweat too much, stain the sheets with shadows.



Matthew lives in New York City, where he works as a copy editor for The New York Observer. He studied English literature at Michigan State University, and besides writing, he is a musician and avid runner.

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