Category Archives: Michael Solender

Cool Dog By Michael J. Solender

Cool quiet dog.

Do that one you did before. Before the rain, before I ran. Before I ran and before you knew how much I needed you.

Slay me, slake me. Slather me with all of you but don’t say one word. Not one. Don’t tell me lies like you love me and shit I don’t want to here. Do it like the first time. Like you want. Not how you think I want. It’s cool. I’m OK with that, no matter what you’re thinking.

Don’t think.

Just be.

Just do.

Do that one, cool dog.

Cool quiet dog.

That’s right. That’s right.

You know you see it, you see how it is. I’m waiting. Shh, don’t talk, don’t talk at all. Let it go.

There.

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Muddy Boots by Michael J. Solender

Always the left boot first. Ever since he was a kid.

Standing or sitting it didn’t matter. He didn’t know why, he didn’t think of himself as one bound by ritual, yet routine dominated all aspects of his life.

Thick, red mud fell in truncated furrows as he alternatively strengthened and relaxed his grip over the roughened steel toe. Perfectly rounded, the clay shards looked as if they were formed by a potter. Compact and resolute, they swept up easily onto the porch where they could bake in the remains of the retreating sun, soon to rise on uncounted Chinese who gave him as much thought as he gave them.

Three hundred thousand dollars seemed like a lot of money. He didn’t like to think in those terms. Money wouldn’t make his back ache or cake in his boots.

She said she was ready. Her sister would help. Their place in the city had a big garden and he could work it all he liked.

Did corporate farmers offer Chinamen cash for their farms? He wondered.

It was up to him, she said. They’d be close to Julie and the boys. Wasn’t that worth something?

The right boot was easier because his left foot was arthritic. Now with that boot off, blood flowing into his arch, the right boot surrendered the entire day’s tension.

He bent over and swept the clay towards the door with his hands. He wouldn’t have trouble sleeping tonight.

He never did.

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