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Fiction #445
(published July 30, 2009)
Letter to the Devil
by Peter Schwartz
Dear Devil,

We made love on a bed of nails. You told me I'd be a great poet, that The Paris Review would fly me to Paris (where else?) and put me up in the best hotel so I could do a solo reading to launch their next thousand issues and there would be a publisher there that would hear me and, and, and, you get the point.

I was naive. You said that I said The Parsnip Review, which is a blog with gardening tips. They published something you sent them under my name that made no sense. I know it's all relative but really, that's got to be a low even for you.

I remember the nails were rusty. I got my shots after and submitted my poem "Rust Fever" to the Virginia Quarterly Review and Ploughshares. I'm hopeful, but concerned what a yes might mean. You really have a habit of getting your hands in everything, don't you? Or should I say hooves? Ha, you fucking loser, who the hell has hooves!

I remember you actually made the joke: Don't worry I'll be gentle, and I realized you were a fucking cliché and that I could change how much power you had over me. See, every marriage has its machinery and I've got your number Mr. 666.

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