Like wine, stories get better with time.
Like rubbing alcohol, they burn when they’re born.
Will my story evolve (or improve) as I move away from it?
When that mark on my cheek is hidden by the sun?

On a grey windy Tuesday,
I tumbled into the street.
The Men We Reaped
(The book I rushed to rescue from the student bookstore),
And the sudden gust that blew my hat from my head. That day,
The day, I raced from home.

they had a single copy,
they’d hold it for thirty minutes, but
hurry, they said into the phone.

I dashed up the sidewalk in the wind,
Eleven blocks, jaywalking, breathless
Arriving and teetering on the curb outside,
And then the sudden gust.

i turned, my legs resisting,
my hat dancing in the road
then a car passed,
the earth tilted,
and i fell like a tree.
when i landed, i was eye-level with that hat, and

as i caught my breath, another car swept the hat under its bumper.

The nurse took her time, rubbing antiseptic swabs on my face and hands.
We don’t normally serve grad students, she said,
When I stumbled in.

Jason M. Thornberry is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Chapman University. His work has appeared in The Stranger, Adirondack Review, In Parentheses, ALAN Review, OC Weekly, URB Magazine, and elsewhere. His work examines disability and social justice. Jason previously taught literature and writing at Seattle Pacific University. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Jason.