Roger Pfingston
No pictures on these walls, but insects crawl
freely, a kind of moving picture, and there are
stains, scratches, holes. These walls are white; in
sunlight they are the brightest walls I have ever
seen. I, too, bear marks of imperfection though I do
not reflect the light. It is commonly known that the
Muse comes in many guises, thus I am grateful to these
walls for their collective effort. How they feel
about this tribute I will never know. The
best I can do is leave the walls no less than they
are: resplendently flawed.

Grady's Crisis

    Roger Pfingston
Grady's penis detached itself as he stood
urinating in a service station restroom. Embarrassed,
he put his penis in his coat pocket, zippedup and
walked out, though not before being stopped by
Delbert, a young man with greasy hands. Delbert wanted
to know what Grady thought of the artwork he'd nailed
above the restroom door. He explained that his boss
wanted to turn that part of the station into a small
eatery that might appeal to families and salesmen as
well as truckers.

Grady said he was sorry but he was in a hurry.
Delbert persisted,pressing for a quick response to his
crudely sketched logo. Grady turned on the young man
and said through clenched teeth that he was just
passing by and that something terrible had just
happened to him and he was in no state of mind to
comment on or even give a damn about Delbert's

Suddenly Grady realized that he was shaking
his penis in Delbert's face. Having heard the ruckus,
the boss stepped in from the garage and asked what the
trouble was and what was Grady shaking in Delbert's
face? Grady turned and ran out to his car where he
asked his wife to please drive for a while.

As she pulled onto the highway, Grady flung
his penis out the window. When his wife asked what
he'd just thrown out, he said, What would you say if I
told you it was my penis? She suggested that he take a
nap and she would wake him when she got tired of

Many towns later, as Grady slept, his wife
inched the window down, took an object from her purse
the size of a wedge of pie, and tossed it. It hit the
highway with a soft thud, a dark density that
splattered in the gray light that gathered and grew on
either side of their journey.

Roger Pfingston is a retired teacher of English and photography. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry and two PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards, his work has appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.


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