For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“Everything Good That I Know I Learned from Women”

Tryno Maldonado


Our grandfather would break out the leather belt at the least provocation. He’d soak it in water, order us to drop our pants to our knees, and flog us. It hurt to the bone. For days my cousins and I would be left with deep red stripes crisscrossing our asses and thighs. A week would pass before we could sit down again. But after a few days, like outlaws hardened by the punishment, we would fall back into the illegality. My grandmother, however, could trample you, could kill your ridiculous, insignificant child’s soul forever with two or three venomous words. I would double over laughing when I heard her tell someone else, “Go to hell.” Although what I understood was, “Go to smell.” My grandmother would say: “That son-of-a-bitch asshole isn’t worth shit.” And I understood: “That sandwich tadpole ate a banana split.” My grandmother, furious, would shout: “Go fuck your mother.” And I understood: “Good luck, brother.”

We read it in The Buenos Aires Review.