Billy's Room
Justin Dobbs

He couldn't imagine that he would otherwise know. I mean he was troubled. His pants did not fit.
When he looked in the mirror, he could see himself, sure, but also another.
He had a pillow for his wife. His mind flew in blades.
He had a man in the closet whose fingers twitched the blinds. The man was always watching and he had a fetus for a gut.
Billy couldn't understand how the trees in the orchard below his window were always wilting, but coming right back up during the rains. If only the winter. . . he thought, but then he sat down.
Billy was tired and he ate plums. He had a pillow for a wife and a man in the closet. In addition, he understood that he would never have much more than these things, the man in the closet, the pillow, the plum that bled on the bedspread, and the wilting trees. The rains, he thought.
The closet door was closed. He couldn't see another. He ate plums from the bedspread.
Billy sat down. He checked his watch. He put on his clothes.
The man in the closet was murmuring, but this could not be helped, for he had to take a shower.
Billy remembered apples. He remembered the swish of the pines during wind. Why was he Elling? He did not know.
Billy lay down on the bed. He tried to remember, his wife, his mother, her face. Her baby's blue veins.