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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Ricky Garni

There always seems to be a new guillotine story. Each one is poignant and jejune; no more, no less. Yes, we know it was invented by a Frenchman, Yes, we know that he thought it was a more merciful way to die, Yes, we know that in India they crush the heads of the infidels and insurgents under the hoof or hooves of elephants. Who is afraid of an elephant? Not me! Who is afraid of an elephant hoof? Everybody!

I hope that they don't do that anymore.

These are the sorts of things that we discuss at the dinner parties that we so enjoy. They themselves are from another century -- or epoch. The moon is out -- the burgundy is red but not blood red. It is a burgundy red. How the moon is out. How the conversation flows like milk above the rim from those still with us. Another glass? Please, before it becomes too late. It's the flash of a guillotine -- why, that sound even SOUNDS French.

Ricky Garni works as a graphic designer and poetry editor of Dicey Brown. His work has been published in 42 Opus, Perfectland, Flaming Asian Ink, Word Riot, Mitochondria, and other venues. His forthcoming collection from Oyster Boy Publications is tentatively entitled All the Astrophysicists Laughed.