Mir-Yashar is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. A recipient of two Honorable Mentions from Glimmer Train, his story, “Soon” was nominated for a Pushcart. Mir-Yashar’s stories are forthcoming or have been published in journals such as Fiction Kitchen Berlin, Johnny America, Silent Auctions, City. River. Tree. and Ariel Chart.


Men ogled me, Nancy Botkin, words rising into spring air. Come to Papa. Want to get naked and do this act? Or that? They yelled on the streets while I walked, trying to drift into fantasy worlds. They called to me from liquor stores and even from church portals, where Lutheran pastors and seemingly dignified Episcopalians asked me to get naked and reenact the Reformation. I walked and they yelled. They yelled as they had in high school, when it was goofballs named Bubba and Tank laughing at their lack of self-knowledge, compassion, they leered like the college professors I had. They graded on curves. Literally.

I got published, I tried to write in coffee houses, to create. I tried to create, shape words and metaphors. Words that would supersede butts and breasts, which the men tried to dissect. I tried to walk through wonderlands of lust with poise. Dignity. I walked with rhythm and command. The men with their mustaches and balding heads kept on. They likened me to hamburgers, carnivorous delights. Steaks. They wanted me medium rare, they wanted me pink and plump. They wanted me on the street, they wanted me to douse them with whipped cream.

Come to Papa, they called. I laughed, glared, told them they weren’t my father, a man who focused on marriage and prestige, blamed me for his divorce, even as he counseled my little brother to go out. Conquer. Have a few anger fucks. Grab the pussy, avenge the women who slipped from one’s dominion like sand. He lunged into the world, I withdrew into writing. The men reached, grabbed. I built up word after word.

Still they grabbed. They wouldn’t go away, libidos a tide crashing, faster, faster.

So I rated them. Deconstructed notions of being sexual ubermenschen. I pointed out sagging pants, beer guts, beady little eyes. I dissected their mythical penises, likened them to crushed worms and other beings. The words spilled, like a torrent, something buried, something bursting into its own. Their mouths hung open, grotesque beings in purgatory. I laughed, prepped for the next round. Again. And again. I wanted to banish them all, but deployed more words, walking through lust, poise and dignity blossoming, even as they tried to form the words. Come to Papa. Come to Papa.

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