Spring 1992 • Vol. XIV No. 2 FictionApril 1, 1992 |

Flatus Vocis

The summer is so hot there is a spontaneous human combustion on the south side. Purée is working triage in the ER when they bring her—it had been a woman—in. "Just molten flesh," Purée says. "Molten flesh and a beating heart." As for me, I put the fan in the door to the stairwell and Beep and I lie on the floor in front of it, hoping it will suck some air conditioning up from Barry's apartment. At night I take Beep and we walk the alleys, grateful for the darkness we pretend is cooler than daylight. The air drips with moisture but the spaces between streetlights are black. I suppose I have a sort of death wish, out in the alleys at night, but it's a good neighborhood, a blue-collar neighborhood where hausfraus still scrub their steps every morning, where the gang graffiti is whitewashed by ten a.m. There are plenty of cops around; it's a strong Democratic ward, until only recently pure white. Purée works long days, and if my light is on when she gets home she come

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Fish Head

By Chu Kim

The summer is so hot there is a spontaneous human combustion on the south side. Purée is working triage in the ER when they bring her—it had been a woman—in. […]

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