Friday, March 14, 2014


He didn’t mail it in, the tax forms, 1040 EZ. Nothing particularly EZ about it. Nothing EZ about anything, especially money. He had money, enough money. He was clothed, fed, occasionally housed, had a P.O. box so they could find him.
He didn’t think they put junk mail in post office boxes, but he was wrong. His favorite were addressed to Resident, P.O. Box 94, Minneapolis, MN. Resident! He was a small man, a small, skinny man, but not even he could reside in P.O. Box 94. It wouldn’t be EZ.
He filled out the form, every line, although some were zero or just skipped. By the end he had skipped so many lines that it seemed reasonable to skip sending it in too. It was EZ.

So he put it in the bag with 1040EZ 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, etc. All EZ. All completed and signed. Resident, P.O. Box 94 could deal with the IRS if they came after him. He was clear. EZ.

Monday, March 3, 2014


Twenty below, wind bending the white pine, the cedar, the jack pine, ruffling the needles with its presence, clearing the yard of birds. Not even a fluffed-up chickadee at the feeder, no hairy woodpecker at the suet box, not even the squirrel, that persistent thief, leaping from the ledge of snow to hang from the feeder. Only wind and cold.
“Is this what there is when there is nothing?” she says.
He sighs, smiles, puts down his paper, looks at her standing at the window, arms crossed under her breasts, in the thin, lacy bathrobe he bought her—when? A 100 years ago? Probably.
“Yes,” he says. “Exactly right. This is what nothing looks like.”
“It’s beautiful,” she says. “Everything white.”
He goes to the window, puts his arms around her so she is nestled into him, fitting as compactly as a Russian doll, nothing between them and, he thinks, nothing can be nothing or everything. This is everything.

© 2014 Kathleen Coskran