Beanbag, by Mitchell K. Grabois

I hurl myself around the globe, like tossing a beanbag.

The glass shards embedded in my side slowly work their way out, but sometimes emerge quickly, as if my body is spitting them. Once a Vietnamese girl woke up by my side, bleeding, the projectiles having pierced her as she slept. She screamed. She knew a bad omen when she saw one, a lover with a weapon for a body. I had to run. Her father was the police chief. She didn’t leave me time to explain. I crossed the border into Cambodia.

Some years later, after most of the shards had worked their way out, Victoria wrote erotica and read it to me as we lay under the pier, until the light failed and we had sex, our bodies propelled by memory of surf and her prose.

I once asked her what it was that most made her Mexican, and she said: What makes you think I’m Mexican?

Aren’t you?

I tell so many lies I have to write them down to keep track, she replied. Being Mexican is one of them. Still, I did train as a flamenco dancer.

What are you really, then?

Armenian. I’m one of the million Armenians who were murdered by the Turks.

She slid back and forth on me. She slid between her conscious mind and what came up from her Unconscious. There was no door between the two. She wanted to be reborn, but not as a Christian, not as a human being or as an animal, plant or rock. As always, she evaded categories.


Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over nine hundred pieces of poetry and fiction appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for work published in 2012, 2013, and 2014. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. He lives in Denver.

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