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“Jen Michalski’s second novel is an intense emotional commitment, but a worthwhile one.” – Ploughshares


“Jen is an astonishingly sensitive writer.” – HTML Giant


“Jen Michalski excels in subtlety that is made possible by her nuanced understanding of voice.” – The Rumpus


“Jen is a writerly heavyweight.” – Nate Brown, American Short Fiction


“We’re lucky to have Michalski before the rest of the world discovers her. But they will.” – Baltimore City Paper

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Bargaining

I dreamed we bought this motorized bed for my mom. It was operated with a joystick, and we made sure it could turn and fit into every corner of her house. Then, we were all getting ready to go out to lunch or something and my mom said, "I can't; remember, I'm dead?" and I became angry, pointing out that we had bought this bed for her recovery, that she could go anywhere with it, even the stores, and why had we invested all this time and money if she wasn't willing to to use it?

The worst feeling is that floating anger, with no origin, no actor. At whom should I be angry? My mother for dying; the world for taking her away? Myself for being angry instead of some Zen actor in the universal game? 

Anger requires action; a fist, a kick, a foul word. But I am frugal, practical, a coward; if I break a glass, I must clean it up, and why waste money? So it simmers inside, cooking my organs, my heart. What a tough steak I've become.