Steven Tagle, Writers' Retreat Fellow

Steven Tagle, Writers' Retreat Fellow



we're to introduce to you Stephen table comm a class of 2010 writers retreat fellow in fiction [Applause] this is an excerpt from my novel and cantata Simon Knight is the narrator and Ben Bergman is his best friend been dropped his crutches on the door and open his arms I strode into them and we hugged my hands separating the darkness of him from the darkness of night he leaned against me gripping my arms for support i widen my stance and scrunched my eyebrows into his shirt my teeth touched his neck pretending to bite carnival grime and sweat salted the skin but I kept my face there buried in the scent of him my pants tighten I didn't care I stood tall against him here was the bend I spent the whole night chasing his loud shoulders his sibling chest he had been at the fair not really only his reflection distorted into shapes to make Berra laugh the farther I followed him into her world the more invisible I felt pretending to be popular and untouchable switching into the glare of her friends disdain now it was just me and him no one to impress I rubbed his neck the acne plunked under his shirt-collar hugging him reassured me that I was still here our breaths shifted air like underwater currents carrying the things we said before the things we never said bends cast not mine I pressed into him demanding what just demanded show me what you feel what it's like to want and they wanted my heart on strained the jeans denim shaved I pushed harder four layers between us and shifted weight onto his strong leg for the first time I thought I felt something else between us not me but him prodding my thigh the mouths of our flies caught and sad been pivoted his hips and a house creep around us only thing ball sleeping brother sleeping dog no one else knew just me and him bonded by the knot between us atoms split in my chest it was like getting an erection all over or the cleanest in your leg after it falls asleep my body buzz with an itch fingertips sheets eyeballs groin parts of me I'd never known shuddered awake for the first time every cell pulse every breath under I grasped at each sensation not wanting it then thrust into the scene between my crotch and died feverish as nails lifting a scab I bawled my fists to keep from scratching I scratched with my knuckles scratched with my palms what was wrong with me Ben's lips parted with each quivering breath he ground against me trapped in his shorts friction scrubbed my mind blank desire still my hands but the itch consumed everything wrinkles quit my clenched fists silver scales come into light this wasn't excellent my entire hand cracked and feel even the nails were split like distressed plastic a casserole under a shoe strips of skin living off my palms spiraling around themselves when I shook my hand an ashy Huss fluttered loose the ghost hand hovered over mine crisp and translucent it climbed my fingertips Center alluding like a sail filled with wind I ground my hands gather skin swirled and coasted through the air dissolving like supernatural sim [Applause] [Applause]

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