Francesco Grisanzio

from Hard Land

It was well after the fact when the mandrakes were fat and scratching enough to make a boil of the dirt below my heels and tip me from the gallows. But I won’t ignore decency, especially on my behalf. As a child, I brought down and home the greatest vulture in town, which my father scolded I’d never grow into, my arms born to the caste of worms dancing within a wingspan. Though, of course, some things a father never can say.

Francesco Grisanzio is the author of Stories & Centauries (Strange Machine Books, 2013). His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Phantom Limb, Houseguest, Handsome, Souvenir, and Poor Claudia: Phenome. He is a co-founding editor of BORT Quarterly.