Stacie McCall Whitaker - Stone Coast, Maine

Night Ride Along the River

I dug up

the two keys you buried

in our backyard—

a tin box

with bullets,

your name


inscribed across the top

like on a tombstone.

A note inside

said, “Son,

do not use

until after

I am gone.”


On an August sunset

I opened the old shed

with one key, started

your motorcycle

with the other.


I revved

the engine like you

taught me that Thanksgiving

we started talking again.


I could have died,

coasting down

River Road,

firing your gun

at the sky,

but somehow

I knew you


let me


About the Author

Nathan Elias is a writer, poet, filmmaker, visual artist, and the author of the novelette A Myriad of Roads that Lead to Here (August 2017). He is co-editor of Varnish: A Journal of Arts and Letters, and has served as genre editor for Lunch Ticket. He is currently working on his first novel, and is a Candidate for the MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University Los Angeles.