The last time I saw you alive was on the corner of 16th and Mission

begging for money which I knew was for drugs. And I thought about

the time when we were around 12 or 13 and cooked some hot dogs

in my backyard using Kleenex tissues for the fire and wire hangers

to hold the hot dogs, but didn’t realize that sparks had caught the

fence so that when we returned, the firemen were there, and the only

thing that kept us from going to juvenile hall was my grandmother

assuring them that our parents would deal with us severely. I remember

that I was grounded for weeks and lost my allowance for months to

help pay for the fence. You pretty much got the same, plus a good

beating from your father. I remember we weren’t such good friends

after that, and pretty much lost contact after I went away to college,

but I heard about your hard times periodically from another friend

on the block with whom I kept in touch, who one day called to tell

me you finally od’d while staying at your parents’ house, and I could

only imagine what it must have been like for your mother to find you

lying there like that, still a relatively young man, but looking so much

older from all the abuse and hard living.


First appeared in Flash Fiction, 2014


                                     Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 1.08.38 PM                               


***Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro-Cuban folkloric music
for dance classes and Rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. His poetry, fiction, and
non-fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies beginning
in the mid 70’s. Recent writing in Revolution John, Serving House Journal, Kairos, Tigershark, Unscooped Bagel, Dead King, Ink In Thirds, DogPlotz, Beachwood Review, and many others. He’s dedicating all of his current writing to two of his favorite poets who recently passed away: Mark Strand and Russell Edson.***






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