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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 3, September 2016


Glenn G. Coats
Prospect, Virginia, USA

Born Again

Evening. We are not ready to bring the day to a close, not wanting to turn toward home. Instead, I drive past shore towns, Ocean Gate and Beachwood, Toms River and Island Heights. We cross rivers and bays, lagoons with boats tied up for the night. Snowy egrets poke through the marsh grass as the sun begins to set.

Lights are on in the town of Freehold. "Charly" is showing at the movie theatre. We find a place to park and hurry to buy tickets as the show is about to start.

Charly is slow, has the mind of a child, holds down a job at the bakery where he sweeps the floors clean of powder and dust. At night, he goes to classes, wants to make himself smarter. There is an experimental surgery, a slim chance to fix the part in his brain that isn't right. The procedure works for a time and Charly falls in love with his teacher, her eyes, and the shape of her body.

It is after midnight, your head rests against my shoulder and when I look to the right, my chin touches your hair. The road ahead is narrow and dark, long spaces between houses, no other cars on the highway. Air outside smells of rain, of pine. I slow the car down. I have all night and there is no longer a reason to hurry.

slice of moon
the temptation
to smile back



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