“Where There’s Smoke” by Pablo Miguel Martínez

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Introduction 

This concise and evocative story/poem by Pablo Miguel Martínez uses connotation, metaphor and image (even an objective correlative at the end) to fantastic effect. Enjoy the richness: read it more than once. What do you pick up on the second reading? On the third?

Send in your stories, your prose poems, your objective correlatives. When you do, send them to flashfiction@sacurrent.com.

—Lyle Rosdahl

“Where There’s Smoke” by Pablo Miguel Martínez 

I once dated a handsome Irish guy named Frank. He was a fireman. One night, over dinner at a cramped restaurant on West Sixteenth, Frank shared this: most heart attacks occur in the bathroom. More specifically, he said, on the toilet or in the shower. “I’ve found many victims that way.” Frank smiled then chewed his meatloaf sandwich. He never dipped into the natural gravy, ordered on the side.

This consumed me: we sure risk a lot when we strain to expel or cleanse. Later that night, as we waited for the subway, Frank explained something else. He had to move on. A shower of confettied information burst in my head. It created an embarrassing mess. A monotone voice crackled on the platform speakers. It announced that the uptown No. 3 was running late.


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