When fire broke out in his apartment building, when smoke insinuated through the hallway like damaging gossip,
Eddie--bathrobe flying open--hoofed it down barely visible stairs toward the front door. But then he sprang back up
the three flights to his apartment, not to save his wallet, nor his passport, nor his flash drives, nor his framed photo
of his dead mother, nor his purring calico. Instead, Eddie braved the taste of choking fumes and a floor of cauldron-hot
tiles and the weight of leering catastrophe to locate, to grab, to secure...his new electric toothbrush. Standing in its
cradle. Stewing in boiling air. Sweating plastic.
© Patricia Carragon:Departure at 18th Avenue