What loneliness is more lonely than distrust? — George Eliot, Middlemarch
What season is lonelier than summer? Come August, the palm trees undress beneath your window; bark sloughs & gasoline kaleidoscopes the footpath you run. You are good about replenishing the canned goods; you are prepped for hurricanes & floods. Loneliness clips a leash around your throat. Remember the graffiti on I-45 that would shout BE SOMEONE on your commute to school, then how lonely it was to be someone you can’t trust? Now recall how you once kept a mirror in your glovebox, a reaction to that time you offered a man your mind & he studied it for a very long time, then walked away—
Theodora Ziolkowski is the author of the novella On the Rocks (TRP), winner of a 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Award, and the short story chapbook Mother Tongues. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in many journals and magazines, including Glimmer Train, The Writer’s Chronicle, and Short Fiction (England). Theodora has served as Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast, Fiction Editor for Big Fiction, and her work has received support from the Vermont Studio Center, the National Alumni Association (University of Alabama), and Inprint (Houston, Texas). She teaches creative writing as an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. You can find her at theodoraziolkowski.com.