I'm lying in bed watching my lover in the reflection of the hotel-room
mirror. I see him lean into the shower, the bones of his back like a
succession of doorknobs.
He steps in and draws the curtain. It's then that I notice his head,
propped and blinking, on the toilet seat.
what's wrong? I whisper.
Moments ago we were wrangling joyfully and brainlessly like a couple of
These days people are encouraged
to embrace thoughtlessness. Pondering internal states (hunger, desire)
is okay. That only makes heads bow, creating an odd crook in the neck.
(Chiropractors are doing a brisk business.) But go deeper and there
will be consequences, my friend. The weight of one's head becomes
commensurate with the weight of one's thoughts. Some heads don't fit in
the overhead bins and must be checked at the gate. The proud heads of
honors students have been re-purposed as medicine balls. I know a poet
who pushes hers around in a baby carriage.
Certain politician's heads, however, have simply floated away like so
many helium balloons.
Lavender-scented steam wafts into the room. Breathing deep, I flip the
channels and find the show about kittens we have been encouraged
to watch. Kittens playing with balls of yarn. Kittens batting tinkly
bells. Kittens licking their wee paws. The shower shuts off. The
curtain rings scritch. On the toilet seat, my lover's handsome face
Kathy Fish is the author of several collections, including TOGETHER WE CAN BURY IT. Her work has appeared widely and is
forthcoming in BEST SMALL FICTIONS, 2017, edited by Amy Hempel.
Read her postcard.
See more of her work in the archive.
Detail of photo on main page courtesy
of M. Kasahara.
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