Joe’s Last Ride

Jennifer Greenberg


In anticipation of dying from cancer Joe went for one last motorcycle ride and he got as far as Pikesville before the engine tanked, so he got out his .22 pistol and smoked a joint in the parking lot of an old service station, the steel pumps still standing but chewed away from the inside out, easy as flesh. It was only a few decades ago the place was hopping and he and his wife Pam would stop there for burgers after church, before the kids were born, before they became sour people and drank too much on weekends to cure some imagined malady of the mind. Then Joe went inside himself to meet the lymphoma on a cellular level. He introduced himself as God so that they would have mercy and leave but the cancer didn’t care because they too thought they were God and metastasized up from the gut into his throat so that he couldn’t even wheeze to say thank you, though Pam knew, and she let him take the bike out to Pikesville to make this last effort at a true life. He kept his eyes open at the sun to ask that it might receive him and held up the pistol like a telephone that might be speaking and he listened to the bullet bursting into fine florets of metal, falling into the soft pockets of his skull like petals.



Jennifer Greenberg is currently working on her BA in Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida. Her work has been featured in Literary Mama, Homology Lit, Sonder Midwest and Chomp.