Two Stories

Michael Stewart


Every Girl Looks Like She's Blushing

Every girl looks like she’s blushing. And this city is long, it turns and turns. The boys push their hands into their pockets. The girls in their tights. And the boys drinking Pabst, chapped lips pressed against aluminum cans. The girls are teasing. The boys are lying. I’ll tell you what this looks like to me, it looks like. That one reads Barthelme. That one likes pinball. Soundless bikes whipping by over the one cobblestone street in this city. The sound of the chain, well oiled, moving over the gear. Beautiful and swift. This boy’s knuckles are too big, he has such long and delicate fingers. This girl, she’d look better with a drink in her hand. She’s got a kid I think. He’s wearing a scarf. This city ends in little back yards, at the E&O, in the backseat of a Honda. We hang out on the West Side. Like pinball. We know the bartender. Put a cigarette in your mouth. Your Converse wet from the snow. She’ll have a ‘Gansett and a Jameson. She’s got birds, in a mess, tattooed all up her arm. She bites down when she kisses. She’s pale, narrow. She looks like she’s blushing, but it’s just the cold.

Postcards from Providence


I find pieces of you throughout this city. And as you know I like to make, patiently and meticulously, living things out of ephemera.

Let me be specific: you paint your fingernails so that the dirt and dried blood won't show.

We were heading back from the Avon drinking gin and tonic out of an Evian bottle. I still have your thumbprints along my thighs.


The buildings downtown are like bones in a museum, glued together and hollow. There is nothing behind any of the windows, but us. Lived there for two years and still, every once in a while, I’ll find the echo of something you said trapped in a stairway or between panes of glass.


The sweet and sticky smell of pot and Coca-Cola. We wake and microwave cheese on tortillas. Your chastity, you told me, was just resistance to bending.