The story "Church" is in the Spring 2013 issue of Ploughshares and per her contributor notes, is Kimblery Swayze's first story published (along with some previously published poetry). Let's hope as readers that it's not the last one she publishes.
Because he could not afford to bury her, Wilson was still living with his mother.
That's how Swayze opens the story--seriously, how in the hell do you not read the second sentence after that beginning? Which is:
On the whole, though, his luck was holding.
What? He's living with the dead body of his mother--how well can his luck be holding? I'm definitely in at this point and over the course of the next 11 or 12 pages, Swayze doesn't give me any reason to let myself wander to another writer in this journal--the writing is gritty, it's full of surprises, for example:
He did not want her touching him. She drew closer, pusher her face against his shoulder. He could feel the warmth of her body. He edged away, as far as he could go. Darlene slid closer, trapping him against the door. She put her hand on his thigh. She began to stroke, using her palm, her fingernails.
Obviously we all know where this is headed...
Wilson's stomach roiled, his mouth filled with brine. he knew what would happen next. Wilson clenched his jaws together, choking as his mouth filled up. He made a desperate attempt to shove her away in time but he wasn't fast enough. She shrieked, leapt aside, snatcher her purse away from the stream of vomit. Her jacket, her furry boots, were splattered.
Not quite what I was expecting. Swayze's writing is exciting--again, gritty (as seen above), and takes on a pretty dark subject and goes maybe even farther than is comfortable--which is exactly how I prefer the writers I read deliver their works. I'll be watching for more work from Kimberly Swayze for sure.