Fred Is Dead
Fred Is Dead by Matt Briggs
My uncle was obsessed with being alive to the point where he didn’t live at all. He filled a cardboard box with free verse, a landfill with green bottles and a tin urn with his ashes. When I was first aware of him, he was growing things out, weird like Howard Hughes. Uncle Fred decided to grow a whisker under his chin as long as it would grow.
Flag Ceremony by Matt Briggs
Sometime after I had been in my Army basic training unit long enough, I knew how to polish my boots until the surface held a thin, buffed glaze richer than the spay-on polish applied by the Drill Sergeants. The aerosol shine left a mucous sheen still shiny even after trail dirt and field dust coated their heels. I knew how to take my time stripping down the excess, black Kiwi wax and then applying a light touch and buffing the leather with my brush.