Jeff Landon

She's pregnant again and naked on the couch, a white leather couch they had bought together when things were easier. He left, hours ago. He's bowling, or drinking, or in another motel room. She lies on her back, flattened cushions exhaling beneath her. She cups her belly with her hands, a tummy visor, and watches the ceiling fan whir to life.

Sally rushes in, followed by Bailey.

"Why are you naked?"

"I'm just resting, I'm tired."

"Where's Daddy?"


"It's night."

"In this," she says, "you are correct."

Bailey, the youngest, tucks her hair behind her hair. Sally shakes plastic flower petals loose from a zip-lock bag. Oversized and brightly colored: red, purple, orange and blue. Sally applies the flower heads, all purple, across her mother's stomach. Bailey follows. A stream of orange flowers beneath her mother's breasts. Red flowers line her leg.

"Pretty," says Bailey.

Jeff Landon is the author of EMILY AVENUE and TRUCK DANCE.

Detail of photo on main page courtesy of Thomas Hawk.

See more of JL's work in the archive.

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