“Poe,” a new story by V.C. Shapira (fiction, ’98), appears in this month’s TriQuarterly:

The well-heeled couple strolling arm and arm discussing the upcoming presidential race had already agreed that General Zachary Taylor would be elected the new president. All the newspapers were extolling the general’s triumphant exploits during the Mexican War, resulting in the annexation of a great swath of land connecting the territory of Texas with distant California. They agreed it was god’s will.

On one of those humid afternoons familiar to those who live in the South, the gracious lady was cooling herself with a silk fan when she stopped abruptly. In the most prosperous neighborhood in all of Richmond City, Virginia, a derelict was blatantly occupying a park bench reserved for her kind alone.

“Dear,” the gentlewoman whispered, elbowing her husband. “It’s preposterous what license these people take. We cannot allow these laggards to invade our community. Already they roam the city at will. Wave him away, will you dear?”   …

Continue reading online at TriQuarterly.

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