Three Flash Memoirs

Erin Dorney
 About the Writer

Erin Dorney is the poetry editor for Third Point Press and curates the “From The Desk Of” series at Real Pants. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Paper Darts, Wyvern Lit, and Hobart. You can follow Erin on Twitter at @edorney or learn more at



ATV stands for all-terrain vehicle stands for Tilley Baker circa 2007 stands for eighteen years old stands for captain of the soccer team stands for seat straddled by the operator stands for low pressure tires stands for around 6:30 at night stands for dusk stands for off road escape stands for farm access road stands for chain across a farm access road stands for chain across a farm access road in light that will trick you stands for negligible protection stands for cause of death neck cut by chain stands for no trespassing stands for forgive us our trespasses.

I Thought I Saw Teeth 


The moon, some birds, a hipbone, your words slice wedges into me, take slivers of me like grandma’s pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and remember that time we had the gin taste-off—Hendrick’s vs. bottom shelf shit and that was the holidays to me, when we threw all of the wrapping paper over the couch Christmas morning and buried the dog in it STELLA GET YER CHICKEN! and she did, unwrapped it tenderly like a baby delivered by a stork it was good it was all good except that Christmas I got too drunk to remember and everyone knew something was wrong I apologized in the morning but I didn’t even know what for, so I try to forget, and think of Halloweens that were so cold I wore my costume over my winter coat, one year I was Pippi Longstocking and you made my braids stand out with coat hangers.



Send Me Some of Your More Useless Bones


I threw up orange juice into a plastic bag on the floor of my room—took my first hangover to the bank with my father. He was co-signing my first debit card. The idea of staying in this town—the idea of leaving—burned in my throat. The night before, we slept in Sam’s camper, creeping out to “hang by the road”—the second most exciting way to spend time after dark. Amanda mooned a car and when it tapped its brake lights we scattered into the cornfield. This was a month before the movie Signs, a month before crop circles, two months before we left for different schools, three months before shots of 151 brought Rachel and I to tears over a dresser drawer full of balled-up socks. But the timeline’s somehow skewed. Because before senior year, Sam disappeared (California, we heard) and Jenny and I drove Amanda to the hospital with bloody towels wrapped around her wrists (her emergency contact being our biology teacher) and three of us were being abused. It wasn’t us in that camper. It wasn’t then in that town. We learned how to bury things early—place them deep in the ground and hope that nothing damaged grew.

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