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Pool Party

Paul Luikart

I remember Ethan’s white legs. Matt’s last pool party. My goddamn hard-on. I wouldn’t take off my shirt till the sun went down and Lee wouldn’t quit talking about little boy things—Pokemon, X-Men, his new favorite root beer. Meanwhile, Ethan flickered through the water like a slow torpedo fired from the underwater lights.

Lee said, “Pikachu—” and I snapped. “Shut the fuck up. Bro.”

We didn’t speak for two weeks, but we made up over root beers at Matt’s house—like a UN summit that he’d arranged for us. At least as consequential. By then, Matt’s dad had already covered the pool for winter.

Paul Luikart is the author of the short story collections Animal Heart (Hyperborea Publishing, 2016), Brief Instructions (Ghostbird Press, 2017), Metropolia (Ghostbird Press, 2021) and The Museum of Heartache (Pski’s Porch Publishing, 2021.) He serves as an adjunct professor of fiction writing at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. He and his family live in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Oz Hardwick

Cyrus Carlson
Green Mist

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