Constance Malloy

Grandmother Swamp

We were tobacco wives before we were grandmothers. Massaging thousand pound tropical blades to get the most nicotine out. Our childhoods were indistinguishable from one another’s as if they came from a factory. We were Scout or Effie or Mags, until our Christian...

Doors

I stepped out of an American Airlines plane with a brown leather duffel bag. Its contents: a dozen perfume bottles that had shattered when the satchel fell out of the overhead compartment mid-flight. The bottles held a precious collection of scents from my favorite...

Shining a light: multiple choice

1. When the lamp fails to turn on, will Gary:a) Investigate the switchb) Blame his wifec) Curse and sit in the dark 2. Will Gary’s wife, Eileen, upon being shouted at for the third time that evening for something that wasn’t her fault:a) Break down and cryb) Throw the...

Bacon Gouda Sandwich

I lift an empty Starbucks cup from the trash and that’s how I get a fifty-cent cup of coffee. I take it to the patio and feel like god damned royalty. I’m tripping pretty hard, and the sun is a soft, ripe plum suspended in the early morning sky.I’m a girl so I never...

Shotgun Wedding

~ after Persephone, Helen Lundeberg, 1950 The earth shivers and births a crack that fingers its way towards her toes. She realizes she hasn’t much time. Marry me, she says to the sky. Marry me, to the soil. To the rain, she gives welcome. To the stars, she offers a...

Passion Cake

Mary and Mary’s mother and Mary’s mother’s mother Esther lived way upstate in a pale brown one-story house half a mile behind the interstate. Bright white shutters and the front porch swept clean, wildflowers dayglow-green-stemmed and radiant with health lounged in...

The Matchmaker

The sunlight filtered in through the gaps between the curtains. I straddled my husband and took a deep breath. His hands rested on my waist, that sleepy smile on his lips. Poor bastard, he thought we were going to have sex. I put my hands around his throat, gently...

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