Recent Work By Jason Sebastian Russo



Honk if God exists but we dont.


He eyed the wooden blocks, once painted red, now wood-colored again, returned to their natural state by several childhoods’ worth of wear. 


They are going for a ride.


His father tapes the blocks to the back pedals of the impossibly long bike, first masking tape, then black electrical. So he can reach them with his little legs. 


As his dad talks, apprehension turns into horror. The mask of disappointment lifts to reveal a crucible of shame hitherto unimaginable. The back handlebars don’t turn. They are merely for holding on.


He’d been told he was getting a bike.


He couldn’t have imagined it would have two seats. 


Riding to school in the very early mornings that year is hard for a variety of reasons. His feet keep slipping from the blocks while his dad keeps up a steady patter of theology and fear of oncoming traffic. They pass row-houses and raised ranches. The most embarrassing part is unpredictable, timing-wise. 


Guilt is for what you’ve done, shame is for what you are. 


The ride to school is a steep five miles. They pass Muddy Lake on the right and slowly wind their way up the biggest hill. When they reach the top, his father lets out a bellow that reverberates down the valley.


His mom is right, his dad has no shame.