Ned Balbo’s flash fictions have appeared in Gargoyle, Pleiades and Waccamaw. His latest book, The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems, was awarded the 2010 Donald Justice Prize and the 2012 Poets’ Prize. He is co-winner of the 2013 Willis Barnstone Translation Prize for his version of Baudelaire’s “Le mort joyeux” (“A Happy Death,” Evansville Review, 2013). His essay on the work of Andrew Hudgins, “A Jester’s Truth,” appears in the 2014 Birmingham Poetry Review and new poems or translations are out or forthcoming in Able Muse, Beltway Quarterly, and Bluestem.
One day, I arrived early, but my time card wasn’t there. My time card: proof I existed in physical time and space. If there was no way to punch in, was I even really there? Who could I turn to with my I.D. photo blank?