Category: . . .

Meg Pokrass ~ Others Of Similar Dimension

Sitting beside a suf­fer­ing, hyper­ven­ti­lat­ing zebra (real­ly a horse with stripes) was not new to the women in my fam­i­ly. My moth­er had expe­ri­enced it, as had my grand­moth­er and my grand­moth­er’s grand­moth­er. Now it was my turn

For every pot there is a lid,” my moth­er said before she died. Nobody knew why she said it or why only females cried.

Here it was again, a life and death moment in the ani­mal king­dom call­ing for human com­pas­sion. In many ways this expe­ri­ence would be no dif­fer­ent than fish­ing for com­pli­ments from a bored hus­band on weekends.

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Michael Czyzniejewski

I still don’t love you; my arm fell off.

I see my ex at the gro­cery, peck­ing at fruit, those new mini-water­mel­ons. I catch the back of her head, her red hair, from the auto­mat­ic doors, her pur­ple tee from two years ago’s 5K for dys­tro­phy. One change: Her left arm is gone, the short sleeve tied into a knot at the shoulder. 

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Sophie Rosenblum

Driftwood

There’s no rea­son to call each oth­er Tic and Tac, but we do just to keep up with that kind of child­hood bond, the one formed acci­dent­ly because par­ents put us togeth­er in rooms and in cars, bound into seat­belts and bunk beds. You’re almost always wil­ing to share your caramels, sticky in the white bag, sea air melt­ing them wet. I say, “It sucks that dad’s a fag­got,” and you say nothing.

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Elizabeth Wagner

Self-Checkout

The man behind her said, “Let me ask you a ques­tion,” but she didn’t turn to see what the ques­tion would be.  Something about what he said both­ered her—it was the way he put it.  She was out of sorts today, but, nev­er­the­less, what he said was not the same as ask­ing, “Can I ask you some­thing?” Or say­ing, “Excuse me, I’ve been wondering…” 

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Julie Odell

Whoa, Hey

The mail­man deliv­ers the pack­age on Tuesday. I rip open the small white Fed-ex enve­lope and a clear zip-lock sand­wich bag falls out from between two pieces of card­board. Inside is the necklace—a large met­al cutout of two fists side by side with pinkies extend­ed. “Too much rock for one hand.” It hangs from a cheap met­al chain. 

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Pamela Painter

Indoor Gardening

He had been watch­ing her for four years—watering her plants, groom­ing her plants.   First in grad school, then when they moved in togeth­er in Cambridge, and lat­er in their first house as a new­ly mar­ried cou­ple with house plants.  It had tak­en years for him to cred­it:  to observe, to sus­pect, to hypoth­e­size about, and final­ly to believe.

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Andrew Roe

Precision 

Hello there, I say, and you’re stunned, so stunned you don’t say any­thing back, you just stare, stare open-mouthed and silent like I’m a ghost. And okay, all right: that’s what I am. People even­tu­al­ly stop call­ing when calls are not returned. The reflec­tion in the mir­ror starts to look like some­one else—or no one at all.

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