Desert Motel

Brad Rose

Today is fever bright, no wind. Justine says I should slow down, but I speed up. I like to get to things before they get to me. She’s been searching for her birthmother. It’s taken her about two years to get this far. I tell her she probably won’t recognize her. She laughs and says, Curtis, not every day has to be a maybe. Everybody wants something real. When we get to Vegas, she opens her purse and pulls out a birth certificate. It’s a single page, and on the back, it has tiny ink footprints and a large thumbprint. The motel is pink and white, and our room is cold as a skating rink. I sit on the end of one of the twin beds, drinking a Cherry Coke. Outside, it’s 102 in the shade. The pool is filled with screaming kids. You can hear them having fun, or something like it. I remind Justine there are more plastic flamingos in the world than real ones.


Brad Rose was born and raised in Los Angeles and lives in Boston. He is the author of a collection of poetry and flash fiction, Pink X-Ray (Big Table Publishing, 2015, and His two new books of poems, Momentary Turbulence and WordinEdgeWise, are forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press. Brad is also the author of five chapbooks of poetry and flash fiction: Democracy of Secrets, Coyotes Circle the Party Store, Dancing School Nerves, An Evil Twin is Always in Good Company, and Away with Words. Three-times nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and once nominated for the Best of the Net anthology, Brad’s poetry and micro fiction have appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, The Los Angeles Times, The Potomac, Folio, decomP, Lunch Ticket, The Baltimore Review, Posit, The Midwest Quarterly, Clockhouse, Cultural Weekly, Boston Literary Magazine, Right Hand Pointing, and other publications. Brad’s blog is: and his website is: Selected readings can be heard at:

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