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Meg Pokrass & Jeff Friedman

The Salesman Has a Vision

Each night I sat on the porch and wished to regain my lost motivation, my desire to sell others what they don’t need. Each night I wondered, how much longer can I go without any sales? Weeks turned into months. Then one night the dust rose above the roofs. I climbed the hill behind my house and looked down on a narrow road that circled the hill. The dust rose as if a line of people were following each other single file around and around. But the road was empty, and the only light came from the moon. There was not even a trace of wind. The next day, I dropped my old line of goods and instead began selling emptiness, drawers with nothing in them, wind up dolls that don’t speak, music boxes that play music no one can hear, wrapped packages of the lights from fireflies, and boxes of blessings from the pockets of invisible gods.

Along Comes Mary

like a sweet smell in the air, a pink vapor. Along comes Mary with her bushel of hair and her eyes that have ransacked your cities before. She knocks on your door, and your door is gone. She enters your house, and there is no house. Along comes Mary, slipping off your mask, kissing you so hard, your lips bruise, slipping her tongue into your mouth until you are breathing only her breath. With her silky hand, she touches you so gently, it’s like a punch in the gut. With her breathy voice, she lights your candles and puts them out. Along comes Mary like a wind swirling the debris, like the sun shining through your ruins, like the sky enclosing you in its blue wings.


Meg Pokrass is the author of eight flash fiction collections and her work has been widely internationally published and anthologized in journals such as Washington Square Review, Electric Literature, Smokelong Quarterly, The Best Small Fictions, and the anthologies Flash Fiction International (W.W. Norton & Co.) and New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction (W. W. Norton & Co.) She is the Series Founder and Co-Editor of Best Microfiction.

Jeff Friedman’s newest book, The Marksman, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in fall 2020. He is the author of seven previous poetry collections, including Floating Tales and Pretenders. He has received numerous awards and prizes including a National Endowment Literature Translation Fellowship in 2016, The Missouri Review Editor’s Prize, and two individual Artist Grants from New Hampshire Arts Council.


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