Dinner With Joe

When smoke fills the room is when I see things clear: It will only ever be me and this amorphous dog prowling around what used to be my dad’s farm.

The flames coal at dusk. I signal to Joe, Bring the family over for dinner.

I’ve missed him.

“Saw your smoke,” says Joe.

He’s brought scotch, too, which I pretend I enjoy. By the woodstove, we sip it and watch his kids teach the dog to shape-shift into their stepdad, Richard.

“What I wouldn’t give,” we say to each other, and the deer up on the wall sigh in unison.


Matt Boyarsky is from Pennsylvania. His stories have been in HobartX-R-A-Y, and BULL.