Destiny USA

At the mall adolescents drop like flies, jumping from the balconies of the theaters, paying full price. In the rotunda they splatter like Rorschach tests. They combust like water balloons. The cops can’t stop them. Mall security. The Blarts. In the end there is nothing to do but clean up and reopen for business. Life is for the living. I don’t grieve. I just turn away and try to think of something else. Go somewhere. A nice waterfall where railings are loosened from their bolts.        


Keith Stahl is a 2020 MFA graduate from the Syracuse University Creative Writing Program (prose). His poetry collection From the Gunroom, which won the Joyce Carol Oates Prize at Syracuse, is now available from Main Street Rag Publishing. His short stories have been published in Notre Dame Review, Southeast Review, Puerto Del Sol, and several other journals. He was nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize. Visit