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by J. Bradley

The Kool-Aid Man sits on the park bench. He breaks off a piece from a slice of white bread, rolls it between his thumb and forefinger, then throws it into the pool of pigeons at his feet. The pigeons coo, peck, look up at the Kool-Aid Man. The Kool-Aid Man takes a drag from his cigarette before breaking off another piece of bread. He rolls it between his thumb and forefinger, then throws it into the pool of pigeons at his feet. The pigeons coo, peck, look up at the Kool-Aid Man. The Kool-Aid Man invents a childhood where he sat at the kitchen table, his stomach empty and angry, his mother never home. The Kool-Aid Man invents an adolescence where his cheeks are riddled with cracked glass as acne, the modulation of his voice out of control. The Kool-Aid Man invents a life where his body and his anger are normal. The pigeons peck, look up at the Kool-Aid Man. The Kool-Aid Man takes what’s left of the bag of bread, squeezes the bag again and again. The pigeons coo as the pieces of bread snow.


J. Bradley is the winner of Five Quarterly’s 2015 e-chapbook contest for fiction. He lives at iheartfailure.net.

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