“Ship Inside a Bottle” by Charles Rafferty

     Her new boyfriend had a ship inside a bottle. You’d ask him how he got it in there, and he’d act like you had to be a mason to hear the explanation. But really, you knew he must have bought it that way. He didn’t know shit about getting a ship inside a bottle. It reminded me of those x-rays where you see a javelin stuck in somebody’s skull, and you think, “Well how did that get in there?” It’s just another story. Like Santa in the chimney. Like god in the wine. Like me inside her. Unlikely.


Charles Rafferty’s twelfth collection of poems is The Smoke of Horses (BOA Editions, 2017). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, O, Oprah Magazine, Prairie Schooner, and Ploughshares, and his stories have appeared in The Southern Review and Per Contra. His story collection is Saturday Night at Magellan’s. He has won the 2016 NANO Fiction prize, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. Currently, he directs the MFA program at Albertus Magnus College and teaches at the Westport Writers’ Workshop.

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