My mom came by this morning.
I guess it went bad, I said as I stood in my new kitchen, the tile
under my bare feet so cold it burned my skin. She stared at
me in that raw, chafing way that she never meant to have. It was a
thing I provoked in her. An unintended hatred. A long
She rested a long spindly hand, the forerunner of my own, on her hip
and I watched her cheeks draw in as she sucked at the back of
her teeth, a habit we shared. She gracefully tilted her body
into to the fridge and pulled out the raw, stinking
chicken—so heavily packaged and chilled I could not fathom
how the meat had turned. I held open a grocery bag and she
dumped it in and wiped the invisible putrid vapor away from her palms.
The plastic crinkled as I tied it and I could feel her eyes on my
actions. I should have taught you better, she said.
I sighed and wondered at my mom—at her own cold feet, long
hands and round hips, at her own inability to keep a thing from turning
How was your morning?
- - -
Read RS's story, "Displays of Aquatic Escape Behavior."
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