All tagged outlaws

Strangers No More

I was riding home on the train when a stranger sat down across from me. He looked at me for a long time before speaking.

“I have a proposition for you,” he said, finally. I didn’t respond, but the man mistook my silence as interest.

“You kill my wife and I kill yours.”

“What the fuck,” I said.

I Had Already Become Less

I don’t remember a mouth. I remember disembodied words about: pain, impossibility, depression. I remember a box of tissues slapped across the table because it felt good to reject something. I remember the feeling of being a specimen to observe and pity, like the hard, dead frogs I was forced to rip apart and comment on in science class.

True Stories Never Satisfy

A woman broke up with her boyfriend. Then she went on a few dates using a popular website but nothing worked out. Her parents encouraged her to get out of the city, spend a weekend at the family cabin upstate even though it was out of season.


My sister Amma used to say the borderlands is the place brown girls go to die when they have no reason left to live. They give themselves up to the fence like a burnt offering, body crumpled at its teeth, and await capture. I read somewhere that some animals will commit suicide—suffocate themselves or stop eating altogether—to escape captivity. I think it’s like that.

Dangerous Man

I say, You are a very dangerous man, and he nods and says, It’s true. I am.

I say, Only you can’t be that dangerous, because you wear that cap. And you have eyeliner dripping down your face like black tears and your jeans are so ripped it looks as if your legs are sharp. And if you were a dangerous man, you would attempt to look less dangerous, in order to better do dangerous things.

A Death Threat from the Hair Club for Men

Of course the after photos show us smiling in terror. We all know someone who tried to take the hair and run. Someone weak. Someone with a family they left behind when they turned up parsed in garbage bags in the trunk of their car, or someone who didn’t turn up at all.

The Weight of You

Death by a thousand cuts, the headlines read. Seventeen slashes with a paring knife. Your wife tried to carve the truth from you. But I’m the guilty one. I’m the one that dreamed of all the ways to lose you so that you could never find me.


There was a moment when he could have taken me out of her throat, or at least not stuffed me in so far, but he needed to cross the line. I helped him, I admit. He left me inside her; that is where they found me, distending that narrow passage. Covered in her cells and his.

A Clue

That blonde may have charmed her way into the laps of every police officer this side of River Heights, but being a former teen detective only gets you so far. When you’re a strung-out 35-year-old asking the way to “The Hidden Staircase,” it’s not as cute.


The vigilantes corner us and the rest of the gang. “YOU COWARDLY BASTARDS,” I yell at my gang after they surrender. I shoot it out and bullets fly through me, ending up dead, my blood among nettles and scrub.

Going Last

I can just make out the park at the end of the street where I met him, at a barbecue. It’s one of those body language memories—never learned English. All I get is this: The sinking of the sun into my skin, my first introduction to the easy settle of East Coast heat. Hot dog juice dribbling down my chin, a trail of shame tickling up my spine, wondering if anyone saw. A slow empowerment spreading up my shoulders, straightening my neck with every younger kid I meet.