J.A. Tyler

a chipmunk

I tug at the lining of my pocket, the unwrapped candy there, sticking only a little to the inside, coming out into my fingers covered in fuzz, goose down or feathers. I throw it in my mouth when no one is looking, the pocket lining coming off on my tongue.

MR. TEDDY BEAR LOVES YOU she says to me when the covers are up and the glowing stars on the ceiling are turning their green, their way of lighting up. I am over this bear, the one I used to call Mr. Teddy, the one I used to hug and cuddle with when the covers were up and my mom was brushing hair from my forehead. She makes him dance, tapping my bed’s edge, my mattress. The bear reminds me now of the drool that I wipe up in the morning, using his furry arm, and the burn of firecrackers I shot off the last fourth of July, when I held one too long in my hand and it went to explode, exploding right by my ear, leaving it ringing.

I think of burning, Mr. Teddy on fire in my head, his plastic eyes melting, the fuzz old candy coming off on my tongue, the chipmunks searching half peanuts from the ground we walk on, my mom still imagining me smaller than I am.

J. A. Tyler is the author of the novel(la)s INCONCEIVABLE WILSON (scrambler books, 2009), SOMEONE, Somewhere (ghost road press, 2010), IN LOVE WITH A GHOST (willows wept press, 2010), & A MAN OF GLASS (fugue state press, 2011) as well as the chapbooks ZOO: THE TROPIC HOUSE (sunnyoutside, 2010) & OUR US & WE (greying ghost, 2010). His work has appeared recently with Diagram, Sleepingfish, Caketrain, Hotel St. George, elimae, & Action, Yes among others. He is also founding editor of mud luscious / ml press. Visit:

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