Susannah Maltz

Once, you explained to me that all the stories I'd heard in childhood had ruined me for men, and that the qualities I was interested in didn't exist outside of a laboratory or an insane asylum. A laboratory, I said, and you explained to me that love is a series of impulses rioting in the brain. If you cut my head open, you said, and touched and touched my brain with a needle in the right spot, you could induce my love neurons to fire and I would suddenly think you were the most adorable thing in the world. I thought about how good a nice cool needle would feel on my hot brain, and what a satisfying stab you might be able to give to an itch I was having in there. If you touched a different place, you said, you could make me loathe you. You went on with different examples of the feelings you could make me have. I'd been itching in there for years. My brain prickled all over in anticipation.

Susannah Maltz is a student living in New York City. She's had work in Drunken Boat and South Dakota Review.

Detail of photo on main page courtesy of Reigh LeBlanc.

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