Claudia Smith

She is a starlet of the silver screen, and her hair sparkles, the palest twinkling. In life it must have been platinum. Somewhere he'd read a line that brown eyes can seem bluer than blue, if you believe them to be blue. That was Proust. Outside it is raining. He can almost believe it to be a hurricane. When he was a child, he and his sister walked into the eye of one. Their mother called, her voice full of sobs, for them to come back inside. But she doesn't dare chase us, his sister whispered. His sister, at that time, was fond of talking like children in old movies. Movies from the days of yore, she'd called it. She used the word "shall" and braided her long hair at night so it fell in waves. She smeared Vaseline on her eyelids and bottom lip. Angelifying, she called it. She was pretty, and thought she could get away with things. She ran away a couple years later and when they saw one another again, they were grown. A fully grown man. I am a fully grown man, he tells the screen. The starlet waves. Her teeth are little points of light. He eats his baked potato. It is naked, soft; he could finish this food.

Claudia Smith's new collection of stories, Put Your Head in My Lap, will be out from Future Tense this fall.

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