Smile by Michael Capel

          On the right, my father: tanned and almost bald, sun gleaming on his red scalp. Gas-station shades and his left eye bugging out over the top, thyroid off the hook again. Shorts still wet with salt-water. Pockets lumpy with his wallet, cigars, Zippo. Smiling. Two teeth missing on the bottom. And then me: pale, stubbled, eyes screwed against the sun. Tilted from too much hash oil and a hand on my father’s shoulder. Splint on my broken thumb. Lips chapped. Smiling. One of my sneakers untied and the other ripped open where the sole meets the canvas.
          What else? The lighthouse, of course, lording over us from behind. My sister’s shadow, raising a water bottle filled with orange flavored vodka. Three hovering gulls. A strand of my mother’s hair blowing across the lens, white as a ghost.
Michael Capel is from upstate New York. His stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Barnstorm, The Baltimore Review and The South Dakota Review. He now lives in Minnesota with his partner, fiction writer Mollie Ficek, and their dog Rusty.