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Joseph Earl Thomas

Joseph Earl Thomas’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Philadelphia Stories, Gulf Coast, the Offing, and the Kenyon Review. He has an MFA in prose from the University of Notre Dame and studies English in the PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania. His memoir, Sink, won the 2020 Chautauqua Janus Prize and he has received fellowships from Fulbright, VONA, Tin House, and Bread Loaf.


Illustration by Michael Kennedy

Reality Marble

Spring 2022 | Memoir

One day, while cutting the grass outside Lustrik Corp., Joey came across a garter snake. At Birds Birds Birds they were $11.99 each, but here was one for free, unscathed by lawn-mower blades, slithering right over the boy’s foot. It was the biggest he’d ever seen, and the first brown one.