“Trading Cards,” “After Party” and “Ewing Sarcoma, Extremely Rare”

Issue 25 by Matthew Feinstein

Trading Cards

Papa and his child

play cards in a gaudy

McDonald's lobby.

I see twilight and

somebody in tattered rags

examine through scraped windowpanes.

Dry lips stretch, divide and ooze.

A cackle like raspy static

from old television sets.

“You killed my guy, so I have to bring

someone out.” The child

positions holographic cards with

dragon artwork on a faux wood table.

Papa’s sunburnt glow and

greying goatee overshadows

his exposed head. Fingers with indents

and thick, yellow nails cover cards.

The Happy Meal lay abandoned,

ranch cups half-dipped, value menu

wrappers pushed aside. Cheese

clings to Papa’s brown paper bag.

The child asks where

are they going to go.

Papa says he doesn’t know.

After Party

Rays of natural light blind

my eyes while I climb flights of stairs.

Memories of blue aluminum cans

vibrating from bass-heavy trap drums.

People performing mindless rhymes. Stepping

clumsily like newborn deer. Smells of old

beer, and smoke dwell in the apartment.

Windows opened for air.

Masking last night's horrible errors.

I rush outside to sounds of raspy

screams. Bumps form across my collar.

Of course, it's my livid father.

Ewing Sarcoma, Extremely Rare

The graduation cap you wear hides

lack of hair, as you speak to the

class of 2015, the bright wheelchair

below you gleams.

Extreme heat plagues my seat,

burning my back. Never mind,

at least I’ll survive.

Faded green veins and pale

skin, purplish black shadows

under sealed eyes.

Lies in a glazed wood case. You

look fake. Prosthetic, even.

Makes me question if this were a mistake.

Driving around Corral Hollow Road

as we bellow harmonies

you didn't quite know on

my car radio. Your former

lover weeps in my back seat.

Why did he have to leave?

At Bethany park, unrelenting winds

weave through my thick gelled hair.

This place now to mourn.

The glass bottle of your favorite

root beer in my hand.

Not to drink. Instead, I pour.

About the Author

Matthew Feinstein

Matthew Feinstein is a current student at California State University Long Beach. He has aspirations to become an established writer and continue onto his MFA in Creative Writing. He has published his short story 'Spring' in Butte College's Journal, Inky Squib.