Two dark oak doors with white porcelain knobs. The dun plaster and lathe walls frame a boy of thirteen. He wears an unbuttoned double-breasted coat clutched at his chest by his left hand. His cropped hair is as dark as hardwood floors. A turned-up collar, his torn pants and bare feet. The white bandage wound around his left knee. The weight he won’t put on it. The way he stares back, his eyes black as the holes of gun barrels. The way he doesn’t blink.
Robert Miltner’s book of prose poetry is Hotel Utopia (New Rivers Press, 2011, selected by Tim Seibles for its Many Voices book award); his collection of short fiction is And Your Bird Can Sing (Bottom Dog Press, 2014). His nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review, Great Lakes Review, Pithead Chapel, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Eastern Iowa Review and DIAGRAM. Miltner is Professor of English at Kent State University Stark and edits The Raymond Carver Review.