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The Short Form

“Something in My Eye”

Michael Jeffrey Lee


My dear friend—you remember him—our dead friend once said: Keep your chin up, that's all there is to it. Look at me, I'm keeping my chin up. This was before he died, of course. You remember him. He grew rice as a hobby.

Summer here is a little difficult. Potentially desperate. On the street corners, boys wave their card signs: FIVE DOLLARS WILL FILL YOU UP PIZZA. There's nothing I can say to them, passing them by, gone, except sometimes I hang up an imaginary sign over my own eyes: BOYS I WOULD BUT I'M LOOKING FOR THAT EMPTY FEELING HAPPY SNARING.

I call my sister from time to time. She says to me: Verily, verily, verily, verily, verily verily. You know I love you brother, verily. I can't say it doesn't feel good to hear that once in a while.

We read it in Something in My Eye.

Originally published in Indiana Review: Summer 2010.