Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

James McAdams

Like Talking to a Priest (in Javascript 1.5)

Credit application—the oppression of the
web form, * indicating [this is a required field], 
forbidding omission of your name,
demanding I remember
unemployment periods,
and death.
All those events we traced on each other,
like palimpsests, rendering it a
betrayal to start a new life alone. 

Fill in the form, 
(like talking to a priest):  
* 246 McKee Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15213,
where we made a thing that
died inside you.
* 142 Clayton St., Dover, DE 19806
where we made a thing that
died inside you
Lara the first, 
you named the second, 
Robert, after me.

Should they be listed as co-residents?
(Mom'd say they should.)
her maiden name, in this form, I c/v Costigan.
Emptying her hoarded closets, 
Mrs. Palmer's fourth grade progress report:  
"Bobby is a special boy and great things await him."
Visiting Mrs. Palmer in a home:
asks who?
and blows her nose,
leaving bloody remnants
like the miscarriage of Lara, or your first attempt,
blood down your arm like tributaries
of toxic rivers.

* queries how you are and
I type:
you're fine,
we're all of us fine:
and imagine an address,
where nobody ever lived,
like a heaven to escape to, 
or something more mundane, 
like the stillness between
inhale and exhale of the Actus Contritionis,
as I recall
my blasted past, nothing about me
"special" or "great," 
and apologize and confess my sins to

James McAdams has published fiction in decomP, Superstition Review, Amazon/DayOne, Literary Orphans and B.O.A.A.T. Press, among others, as well as creative non-fiction, poetry, and academic essays in such venues as r.kv.r.y quarterly literary journal, Foliate Oak, Kritikos and Rhizomes (forthcoming). Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate in English at Lehigh University, where he also teaches and co-edits the university's literary journal, Amaranth. Further work can be viewed at