When the World’s Fair came to Queens, we watched the flags slowly rise. We watched trucks haul in the Sinclair dinosaurs, the Pepsi pavilion, the Magic Skyway that would move us through the past to comprehend the future. We watched the steady construction of the Unisphere, twelve stories high, a stainless-steel globe tilted away on its axis, a testament to the peace through understanding that the fair promised us. We watched Flushing Meadows Park become another world entirely, from the other side of the Long Island Expressway where we all worked then, from the panoramic windows of Albertson’s ladies shoes.

    Stan pressed his face to the glass between customers, watched the exhibition emerge and swore that these were the promises LBJ would break, now that Kennedy had left us all behind. He shook his head and turned away, while Breslin stayed and stared off toward the park, watched the signs roll up for the new Ford Mustang the fair would introduce, a car we knew he had the money to afford. Jim watched the General Motors ride materialize, a glide through the future that maybe reminded him of his dad, who worked for GM, whose blackened nails and oil-smudged fingerprints told a different story, a future apart from undersea vacations and desert irrigation. And me, I hung back and worked, fit sandals to high arches, slipped shoehorns beneath heels.

    Stan was the one who got us jobs there. We’d all met in college algebra, a core requirement at Nassau Community College, where we sat in the back of the classroom and shared what minimal notes we took on polynomials and binaries. Stan’s dad owned the shoe store in Queens, and we all needed the money, so I was the one who took the job first—working mornings before class, then some Saturdays and Sundays—and then Jim signed on, then finally Breslin, for nothing better to do. Breslin’s parents paid his tuition. We all knew that. He also had a Ford Falcon, and once Stan’s dad hired him, we all stopped taking the Long Island Rail Road and piled into the Falcon instead, on the days we could coordinate our shifts right, which was most of them.

    Jim had been my best friend in high school, the only person I knew at Nassau when we enrolled, which was maybe strange for Levittown High being so close to the college, but then again, a million people lived on Long Island. We went to school, we worked. We fit women with shoes. Stan peeked up ladies’ skirts when his dad wasn’t looking. Breslin did the same, carried a magnifying glass in his back pocket for just that purpose, no matter how indiscreet he looked tilting the lens while women hovered above. Me, I once sold a pair of purple suede pumps to Peggy Lee.

    We’d dicked around for two years. We’d smoked, we’d huffed, we’d bashed the mailboxes of every neighborhood we knew, until all of Long Island was only broken splinters of wood, a scattering of lost letters. And we would graduate in May, less than a month away, to face the staggering precipice of the future, something none of us knew, though for me it would be someplace so far away my mother’s dull gaze couldn’t follow—to the plains of the Midwest, or maybe the other side of the Atlantic entirely. 

    It wasn’t that I disappointed her. I would have traded my life for that, for the way Stan and Jim complained about their parents, their nagging questions of jobs and college. Instead, my mother no longer looked at me, only me, the me I was before we lost what we did. I saw it in her face, in the way her eyes shifted down, or to the side, or just past me when I spoke, that for her my shape carried a double, my presence would always imply an absence, of the same eyes and hands and mouth and voice, the hint of Anthony in every movement and word.

    My brother, Anthony—who gave me his trunk of baseball cards when he moved on to poker, who taught Jim and me to crack a bat against leather so we both made the varsity team before our junior year. Anthony, who slept in my room for two weeks when our father died, back when the shadows on my walls made monsters and I still sometimes wet the bed. And Anthony, who came home from college upstate last Christmas, who slammed his car into a tree when it slipped on black ice, who left every one of us irrevocably behind.

    My mother, she meant well. She cooked the roast chicken I still loved and hugged me each time I left the house, the caked residue of her lipstick imprinted on my cheek, her iron-clad grip leaving hollows in my shirts, the ghosts of her fingers following me away across Queens. But we watched the fair emerge through the palpable lack the holidays brought, through the embittered winds across the Long Island peninsula in January, and through the slow melt to spring, a thaw that left puddles for grandstands and pavilions.

    Stan watched with disdain, his head in perpetual quake, his eyes cast down like fire to burn it all away. And though I worked through the slow build, ignored its formation like a city beyond the windows for the curve of women’s heels, I considered it anyway, what potential we were promised, a future no Skyway could comprehend.

On the Wednesday in April when the fair opened its gates, Grandpa met me at Hartley’s Diner, which he did sometimes on my lunch breaks from Albertson’s.

    “Did you know most heart attacks happen on Mondays?” he said, fork suspended above a plate of beef chili. “Mondays I eat my vegetables, mostly, but life’s short, Mike. You better eat every goddamn thing you want.”

    I sipped my coffee, nodded down into the black. He’d had heart problems since his fifties, but who were we to tell him what he could and couldn’t eat.

    “How’s your mom, son? Still doing all right?” He speared his chili again, a dish that seemed better eaten with a spoon, but again, I couldn’t tell him a better way to do all the things he’d done for years.

    “Fine. Her job’s going well.”

    My mother worked as a seamstress for a tailoring shop she’d opened herself, not long after my dad died. All of this, Grandpa already knew. Sometimes he just checked on her still, in the roundabout ways he knew how.

    “And yours? You kids behaving yourselves around all those ladies?”

    Though my mother had surely told him at some point to keep an eye out for me, in a way a father no longer could, Grandpa never asked about my future. He only asked about Albertson’s, stopping his questions at the bounds of what existed, not what might be.

    “We’ve been watching that fair go up, out there across the expressway.”

    Grandpa’s eyes widened. “Oh, yes. The grandest fair of all! Your mother wasn’t much younger than you when the first one rolled around.”

    My mother had told me all about the 1939 World’s Fair over dinners the past few weeks, as if remembering made her young again. She mentioned the planetarium, the color photography and air conditioning, the Westinghouse Time Capsule whose copy of Life Magazine had likely disintegrated to dust. The lines near her eyes softened, smoothed out by memories, but then she’d look at me and they’d harden again, as though I’d lurched her back to a relentless march of moments that bore her ever away from the past.

    “They rolled out the new Mustang at the fair.” I knew Grandpa loved cars.

    “Jesus, boy. News like that will give a man a heart attack.” He grinned and leaned in like he had a conspiracy to disclose. “What do you say we skip over there, check it out? You’ve got time.”

    I looked at my watch. A half-hour left of lunch, though even if I made it back late, Stan’s dad never cared. He always told us he chose selling shoes so he could maintain his hair color through middle age without a stockbroker’s wiry tinges of gray.

    On our walk to the fair, Grandpa told me his weekly trip to the store had ended in disaster earlier that morning, when he’d made it through three aisles of food before realizing that he’d accidentally taken someone else’s cart back in the produce section.

    “It was the peas I noticed.” He shook his head. “Who buys fresh peas? From there I saw the sweet pickles, the walnuts, all things I’d never eat. The walnut skins, they stick to my teeth. I left the cart there, walked right out of the store.”

    I nodded and kept walking, I never knew what to say when Grandpa told me his weird stories. The week before, he’d caught his neighbor sunbathing in the nude and had thrown a towel out his window, told her to cover up before any kids saw.

    We approached the fair’s gates and moseyed inside. Crowds were still minimal, more people would surely flood the pavilions after work, and we moved inside with ease, walked past the flags of every nation and on toward the Unisphere, towering massively ahead. A middle-aged woman walked past us with a sheepdog, which bounded up to Grandpa and licked his hand before the woman pulled the dog away.

    “Doesn’t he look like a Dusty?” Grandpa stared after the dog. “It’s a shame they can’t tell us their own names.”

    We advanced toward the Ford exhibition, a large building with a line of people snaking out the front door. But one Ford Mustang sat on a pillar outside, surrounded by a display of newly planted geraniums, a white convertible with red leather interior and chrome wheels.

    “Now, that’s a beauty.” Grandpa whistled, stood back on his heels so his belly protruded. “A fine piece of metal, indeed.”

    He was right. The car looked like an escape across the West, a wind-whipped joyride through the Badlands, some cross-country voyage to bear me away from Long Island.

    “You know, your brother’d have loved to see this,” Grandpa said, then he stopped himself, looked down toward the tips of his shoes. I stared at the car. The sunlight glinted from every surface, puckered in diamond-shaped points that pierced my eyes.  

    “Your mother, Mikey.” Nobody called me that but Grandpa. “I hope she’s doing all right.”

    I told him I needed to get back, that Stan’s dad would be waiting for me and we had sneaker orders to fill. Grandpa squinted and looked away, and I couldn’t tell if the light hurt his eyes too, or if the car simply radiated something else for him, some shining sun he could have sat beneath all afternoon.

After work, and after Breslin took us all to the Burger Barn for shakes and fries, we drove past the fair on our way to the Expressway, watched people milling like bees in a hive as the wind blew past the windows, as we accelerated up the merge lane.

    “What a bunch of fucking morons.” Stan flicked a cigarette out the passenger side and rolled up the window. “Like a fair will make a goddamn bit of difference.”

    Breslin laughed. “LBJ sends us all to Vietnam, slowly and steadily, but a brand new Mustang is going to change everything, sure.”

    Jim rolled his eyes in the backseat, kicked the back of Breslin’s chair. “Yeah, and you’ll surely be the first to go. With mommy and daddy paying tuition, you can send us postcards from NYU, you jackass.”

    “From Harvard, Jim.” Breslin grinned into the rearview mirror. “And food instead of postcards. Gold Mine Gum might be hard to find in the jungle.”

    At home, my mother had already gone to bed. A roast chicken sat on the kitchen counter, with a note that the oven was still half-warm, I could heat it up if I wanted. I slid the chicken into the fridge and headed upstairs.

    In my bedroom, I unbuttoned my Albertson’s shirt and removed the undershirt beneath, one of a dozen white tees I’d gotten from Anthony, both when he outgrew them and when my mother finally cleaned out his closet. I’d hated hand-me-downs back then, had yelled at my mom that I deserved new clothes too. Now, I’d wear them until holes poked through the sleeves, until no more hand-me-downs were left. 

    On top of my dresser sat a framed photo of Anthony, a gift my mother had placed in my room without words, sometime after the funeral as though it had appeared on its own. The photo had been taken at our last Fourth of July celebration together, after Anthony’s high school graduation and just before he left for Albany. We’d lit a bonfire in the backyard like we always did, and there were hamburgers and hot dogs and Black Cats and cherry bombs. In the photo Anthony held a Roman candle out toward the sky, his other hand covering his eyes as he turned away from the blast. Grandpa smiled and looked on, out of focus in the background, which meant my mother must have taken the picture. She’d snapped it just as the candle burst open, a flash of sparks and light burning hot into the night.

    I lay in bed and watched the ceiling, the puckered ridges of flecked paint. Though Grandpa never asked about the future, I thought about it anyway, how far away I could go, and where, and for what. I hadn’t applied to college, at least not back in the fall when I should have. My mother said SUNY would take me, in the rare moments we talked about the future, when she pushed dinner around her plate and mentioned the possibility of rolling deadlines.

    Breslin would go to college. His parents would see to that. We joked about the war, as uncertain as everyone else whether it was inevitable or not, but if the war came, we all knew with unacknowledged certainty that Jim and I would go. Stan, he might just work forever with his dad, until his draft number either arrived or failed to show. 

    I wondered about the war sometimes, if maybe this was best, that if Anthony had to go, he may as well have gone here at home and not far away in some tropical forest we’d never be able to envision or understand. My mother watched the news. I caught her watching the troops board planes sometimes, waving out to the camera with their young faces, their skin the same as Anthony’s. She must have thought it too, that if she had to lose him, at least she hadn’t lost a son in the way so many other mothers would, with a telegram or a note, without the physical confirmation of a wake and proper funeral, no tangible evidence to make us let go. 

The fair grew as we worked through April, people ogling the IBM films and the Bell System rides, the great moments of Abraham Lincoln delivered through simulated speech. The Long Island Expressway flooded gradually with cars, and Breslin began rounding us up early, pulling into our driveways well before eight in the morning.

    On smoke breaks, we stood on the rooftops of Albertson’s, Breslin gazing off toward the fair with disdain, and sometimes pulling out his magnifying glass, to try and burn the tops of people’s heads below. I watched the flags, the Unisphere, the Sinclair dinosaurs lined up like a prehistoric parade. For a focus on the future they seemed out of place, ancient, their primitive size eclipsed by machinery and engines, the same objects Sinclair fueled and motored. My mother had read in the Daily News that kids under eight considered Dinoland the greatest exhibit at the Fair, and from Albertson’s I could see children staring up at the brontosaurus, its head surely obscured by the blinding afternoon sun. My mother hadn’t mentioned the other news, that our troops were increasing overseas. By August, nearly one million were expected to have embarked in steady, silent progression.

    Grandpa came over for dinner on the last Thursday in April, since our lunch that week conflicted with his monthly bridge club gathering. My mother made a pot roast, breaking the mold of her steady diet of chicken, and filled the pan with carrots and celery hoping Grandpa would eat them.

    “Isn’t it crazy that chairs don’t have seat belts?” Grandpa picked at a carrot, then speared his beef instead. “Sometimes I think, good God, the earth spins and spins, we could fall right out of our seats.”

    My mother watched Grandpa push his carrots under a slice of bread. “I finished the last bridesmaid dress today for that wedding in May. Burgundy dresses. Who chooses wine colors in spring?”

    I pulled another piece of bread from the basket and ate my pot roast. There was never anything to report about my own job, only pumps and heels and cigarette breaks, and sometimes Stan mouthing off about his dad, both at the store and in the car ride home. 

    After dinner we sat in front of the television, watching the six o’clock newscast with my mother’s rhubarb pie. She pretended not to notice when Grandpa got up to use the bathroom and came back with another slice.

    “Yep, it’s about that season,” Grandpa said when the news turned to school preparations for graduation ceremonies. “We’ll be attending Mikey’s here in a couple of weeks.”

    “I’ve made myself a tweed skirt for the occasion.” My mother shifted her glance toward me. I saw her from the corner of my eye. “What comes after graduation, we’re still not sure about.”

    “He’ll figure it out.” Grandpa set his empty plate on the coffee table and gave my mother a look. “Mikey’s got a good head on his shoulders.”

    She looked away, took his plate into the kitchen. 

    Later, after Grandpa had gone home with half the pot roast and three pieces of pie, I came down from my room where I’d been studying for my last American history exam. Silence filled the house, Grandpa’s chatter gone, and my mother sat at the kitchen table alone, sorting through sewing patterns.

    “I’m starting to think I stitched that last dress wrong.” She dropped the patterns in her hands, didn’t look up. “Things have been too busy. That bride won’t be happy.”

    I sat down next to her. She’d already cleaned the entire kitchen, pots and silverware washed and dried.

    She looked up at me. “What are you going to do?”

    “Maybe study. Watch some television.”

    “You, I mean.” She squeezed the bridge of her nose, shut her eyes. “You, Michael. What are you going to do?”
    Her eyes opened, hollow and tired, dark circles shading their undersides. The question and her face and the imploring tone of her voice, all of it pierced a flash of anger through me. I pushed myself away from the table, stood up so I was looking down at her.

    “Since when do you care?” My voice sliced the silence in the room. “Now that I’m two weeks from graduating, my future matters?”

    She looked like I’d struck her. Her eyes slid away, back down toward the table, and her voice grew even softer than it was before. “You’ve got options, Mike. You’ve got SUNY, or any other college you’d want to go to, the deadlines roll through August.”

    “I don’t have any other college.” I stared at her. She suddenly seemed so unaware. “I have the draft, Mom, and as long as that’s true, I may as well get as far away from here, to forget Albertson’s and this hellhole of an island and at least live my life until I’m shipped away to God knows where.”

    She didn’t even look up at me, she just sat there, the patterns scattered beneath her hands. The air in the house thickened, too heavy for my lungs, so I grabbed my coat from the foyer and slipped out the door toward Jim’s house, leaving my mother behind at the table.

When I walked up to Jim’s, Breslin’s car was parked on the street. I crossed the grass to the backyard where a sliding glass door sidled up to Jim’s basement room, and when I knocked, Breslin pulled open the door.

    “Well, look who it is.” He held a trigonometry textbook in his hands, a class he shared with Jim. “We’re nearly done studying for this bitch of a test.” Jim’s head peeked out from the background and he waved, and Breslin motioned me inside and shut the door.

    I watched the last half of Bewitched while they finished up, took a Schlitz from the basement fridge. When they were finally done, Breslin pulled on his coat. I thought he was going outside for a cigarette, but Jim was wearing a coat, too, and I knew he didn’t smoke.

    “Come on.” Breslin flipped off the television, before the predictable conclusion of the episode, that Darrin wasn’t actually having an affair on Samantha. “We’re going for a ride.”

    Outside the air thrashed cold through the car’s open windows, but the change was welcome and I inhaled the lack of stagnation, a shift from the fog that had hovered above the kitchen at home. We picked up Stan, who was waiting at the curb of his driveway like he knew we were coming, and then we sailed onto the Expressway where the night air slicked a balm across the car, a space open enough to breathe.

    “Where do you kids want to go?” Breslin shouted over the din of the radio, the rush of the highway. We always went to the same places. The Burger Barn, the Rusty Nail. The Maple Leaf on Thursdays, for cheap beer before the weekend brought crowds. I looked out across the highway, could see the far-off metallic flash of the Unisphere, glinting from the heart of Flushing Meadows Park.

    “Let’s go to the fair.”

    Jim looked at me. “It’s closed, Mike. Let’s get a beer instead.”

    “Let’s go anyway.” I was adamant. “Who gives a fuck if it’s closed?”

    Breslin watched me in the rearview mirror, his mouth spreading toward a grin, and Stan shrugged his shoulders in the passenger seat and rolled up his window. Only Jim looked like he didn’t want to go but consented anyway, with a slow nod of his head.

    The fairgrounds were empty when we arrived, the crowds long gone, but two night porters paced the perimeter of the park as we drove up. Breslin circled around to the 7-Eleven on Radcliff instead, and we sat in the fair parking lot drinking PBRs until the porters finally left, sometime well after two.

    By then, I was drunk enough to scale a fence.

    Stan created a loop with his hands that I climbed into, hoisting myself up toward the railing until I flopped over the edge. Breslin followed, pushing off Stan’s shoulders as he stepped into his palms, and then Jim helped Stan across the fence, remaining himself on the other side.

    “Aren’t you coming over?” I stood eye to eye with Jim, chain links separating our faces.

    “How the fuck would I get across?” Jim squinted back toward the car. “I’ll stay here instead, keep an eye out for cops.”

    I pinched his cheek through the fence and turned away toward the park.

    The pavilions loomed like monsters at night, deserted, their shadows hulking high over the park. Breslin ran down the main thoroughfare, the flags billowing like ghosts above him, while Stan stared at the posters for Johnson’s Great Society, the ride that took audiences through the annals of American history and on toward the progress, the great strides we would forge into the future. And I walked past the Disney exhibits, the tours of worldwide waters and prehistoric caves, until I arrived right back at the Ford pavilion once more, standing in front of the Mustang as Grandpa and I had done.

    The car had dulled in the dark, without the sunlight to illuminate its interiors or polish its wheels. The red leather had turned almost black, and the white paint transformed the car from a blinding shaft of light to no more than a muted phantom.

    Grandpa knew Anthony would have loved this car. He’d known that just as easily as he knew never to ask about my future, a future that maybe he anticipated would never come. I stared at the car, at its red interior gone black beneath the sky’s half-moon. There were so many ways I wasn’t Anthony. Anthony would have taken my mother to the fair, bought her funnel cake and popcorn, paid her way through the Magic Skyway and let the light fill her eyes again like it must have back in 1939, when the weight of what would end was nothing more than an impossibility, and the future rolled out plush ahead like a smooth, unbroken highway. 

    Past the Mustang, the dinosaurs loomed in the distance. I noticed then how close they were to the road where Jim stood, where Breslin’s car sat unmoving and waiting.

    I yelled out to Breslin, who stopped his sprinting down the thoroughfare. Stan still stared at the Johnson posters, but when I stuck my fingers in my mouth and whistled, he looked up immediately. Within minutes, we were all standing in the center of Dinoland.

    The triceratops, the brontosaurus, they all towered too tall above us to really be moved at all. But near the section of baby dinosaurs stood several bird-like creatures, two of which were small enough to dismantle and steal.

    “Jim.” I shouted across the parking lot, where he stood with hunched shoulders, his fists shoved deep into his pockets. “Pull the car around.”

    “I don’t think that’s a good idea, Mike.”

    “Oh, don’t be such a crybaby.” Breslin launched his keys across the fence, which Jim fetched with reluctance from the gravel where they landed. “Pull the goddamn car around. I’ll drive from there, like you never even did anything.”

    Jim stared at us for a moment, then turned on his heels toward the car.

    By the time the Falcon sat idling against the fence by the dinosaurs, we’d already unhinged a small pterodactyl from the ground, and Stan had pulled some feathered reptile so hard that its feet remained planted by bolts, though the rest of it had come undone. Jim stood outside the car, looking away toward the Expressway while Stan climbed back over the fence. We handed him each bird until they were stowed in the Falcon’s trunk, until both Breslin and I had scaled the fence, until we were back in the car pulling hard out of the fairgrounds.

    “I can’t believe you guys did that,” Jim said, his head resting against the back window as we accelerated onto the highway. Breslin laughed and Stan lit another cigarette, and I watched the moon disappear behind the Expressway’s concrete barriers until we were shooting down the left lane. The center line reflectors held the only light for miles.

    It was well after four when Breslin dropped us all off. By then, my beer buzz had faded to dim fatigue, and when Breslin took me home last, I slipped from the car knowing he would hide the birds well, the only one of us with his own place, his own garage.

    “Hey,” he yelled from the car as I walked up the driveway. “That might be the stupidest thing we’ve ever done.” I could tell he was still drunk.

    I nodded and turned away toward the house, but when his car disappeared down the road, the pitch black felt like the heart of some forest or jungle, so much worse and more real than all the stupid things we could’ve ever done. 

    On my smoke break the next afternoon, I watched people line up outside pavilions, like they had every day since the fair opened. Crowds twisted through the thoroughfares, bunched heavily near sno-cone stands and demonstrations, and even continued to wind through Dinoland, despite the missing birds. Word traveled fast. By the time the afternoon paper arrived, with a headline blaring Two Fair Dinos Stolen; Sinclair Pretty Sore, I didn’t even have to ask.

    “I’ll drop them in some field late tonight,” was all Breslin said, and I turned away, stubbed my cigarette out and went inside. 

    When I came home that night, after hearing Stan’s dad talk all day about the dinosaurs, and after watching the crowds move endlessly through the fair from Albertson’s windows, a flow of people without cease, I found my mother sitting in the living room, hunched over the coffee table while the six o’clock news blared on mute.    

    “Hi,” I said. I sat down next to her.

    “Hi,” she sighed back. She didn’t look up.

    I noticed then that she was locked in concentration, examining an assortment of old photos that had scattered themselves across our coffee table. I leaned forward on the couch, and what at first looked like a bunch of boring shots—armchairs, dressers, a bedroom set with a full-sized mattress and nightstand—I slowly recognized as a series of inventory photos my father had taken a few years before he died, photos meant to preserve our family belongings, in case anything perished or burned.

    There was my father’s closet in one photo, all his ties and shoes and a stack of white undershirts I still remembered. There were my mother’s perfumes, lined up along a vanity table, and the contents of my nursery, a wooden crib and a basket full of stuffed rabbits and bears. But the photos my mother focused on were the ones of Anthony’s childhood bedroom, and I followed her gaze to everything there.

    A nightstand, small enough to fit only one lamp. A bookshelf full of children’s picture books, and tiny figurines and airplane models. A rocking horse in the corner. A pile of board games. Anthony’s favorite had been Candyland. An old alarm clock, a quilt fastened to the wall, a dresser topped with two stuffed bears, and their waving, still arms seized the intractable core of my chest, how no hands or small palms would enclose them now, all that potential and the anticipation of what a child could bring, everything gone, every blinding white speck of the world that was ours.

    “I can’t,” my mother said, just words without thoughts.

    “You can’t what?”

    She turned to me, her eyes full. “I can’t lose you, too.”

    I looked away, toward the silent television where I could see them, troops lining up before planes. A newscaster spoke in front of the soldiers, turning and pointing every so often, before the broadcast switched abruptly to the fair. Dinoland rose up behind a different reporter, and though I couldn’t hear her, I knew she had mentioned the stolen birds. Beyond her stretched an obvious void, the space where the dinosaurs had been.

    My mother gathered the photos into a pile, her hands sweeping across the coffee table, and my stomach rippled up inside me, a flicker of nausea, of dizziness. Maybe the beer still rolled through my body, or maybe something else, something I had no name for, a future too impossible to comprehend. I thought of Grandpa then, what he’d blathered about the earth spinning and spinning, and how I’d ignored what was true, how senseless it was that our chairs had no seat belts. My stomach flipped and bucked, and I wished I was fastened to the couch, both my mother and me, with the world spinning as it was, as if the balance of gravity itself had shifted beyond progress or promise and our quick collapse had finally come, the air too heavy to hold us.

Anne Valente’s fiction appears or is forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Unsaid, and Hobart, among others. She lives and teaches in Ohio.


Back to Freight Stories No. 7


Anne Valente

Everything That Was Ours