Tag Archives: Penguin Books

Month of the Shorties: “Colombo” by Ben Loory

By Melanie Yarbrough

Today’s shorty can be found in the tenth issue of Keyhole magazine.

Don’t let the length or the quiet writing of Ben Loory’s “Colombo” fool you. Inside these (barely) two pages are books’ worth of commentary on death, memories, the future, life. The narrator recounts a jar of tiny puddle fish that used to sit on his back porch as a kid. He lists names he remembers – they gave each of the fish names – along with the ritual of their burial. Despite the great care shown for each tiny life they took responsibility for, the narrator is faced with the task of accepting their disappearance. As time goes on, there are fewer rains and fewer fish until all that is left is the narrator’s memory of their ancestors.
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