Meg Pokrass

Gathering in the living room for wine on Christmas Eve – coughing, moving chairs at commercials. I would have started baking three days ago, mom says, in a monotone.

At the stove, I'm already scorching the second batch, remembering the tune Rick made up, the way he whistled it naked. Cookie sheet's warped; sifter's missing a handle. Puppy trips mom near the bathroom. Jesus, she hoots. Can't someone do something with this dog?

I drive to 7-11 to buy more flour, puppy in my lap. On his cell Rick says his manic brother showed up – spun a web in the corner of the living room. His mother's crying and drinking after a year dry.

Merry Christmas, I say.

You too.

He tells me we should get married, move to Mexico, become Buddhists.

Buddhists, I say, inhaling puppy’s breath in the cold car, snow falling like rice.

Meg Pokrass lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in 971 Menu, The Rose and Thorn, Thieves Jargon, Eclectica, elimae, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Ghoti.

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Photo on page main page courtesy of View of the World.

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