One evening my car burps and dies. I point to the place where the car has always felt sick.
“Most of our things are already ruined,” my man says, pointing to the chewed chair legs, scratched hardwood floors. Lately his voice sounds like a permanent sticker. No taking this dog back.
Yes. He wants someone to clap.
It’s believing he’s a specialist about your life, that can get to you.
Or what will happen next.
Is the dog heavy from his last life?
He’s a mystery, a TYPE of dog, with crater-sized ownership gaps.
He poops cautiously, his large body bowed into a curl, forming a big letter C while I stand waiting with compostable waste bag. He glances quickly around to make sure nobody else is watching.
Men can fly to the moon but I cannot have a child. The doctors love me, that is… they touch my shoulder when they explain in doctor language why I am sterile. Periods like broken crockery.
“Don’t tell me to get rid of this fucking dog.”
I think about army cousin Jim. Generous with his illness — he offered it secretly when I was just getting leg hair, telling me one tricky night when Ma was asleep, that I was so damn pretty now.
When a man talks to you like that and you have always been ugly you answer with your lips.
He says, “Ahhh”.
When my man tells me to fix the car, fix the dog, fix my hair… I keep his words close but I do not touch them.
Meg Pokrass is the author of five flash fiction collections, two novellas-in-flash, and is the recipient of the Blue LIght Book Award. Her work has been internationally anthologized in New Micro (W.W. Norton & Co., 2018), Flash Fiction International (W.W. Norton & Co., 2015), Best Small Fictions – 2018, 2019, Wigleaf Top 50 List (multiple times), and has appeared in over 500 literary magazines including Electric Literature, McSweeney’s Smokelong Quarterly, PANK, Craft, The Center For Fiction, Tin House, Hobart Pulp, and Passages North. Meg currently serves as Flash Challenge Editor for Mslexia Magazine, Series Co-Editor of Best Microfiction, and Managing Editor for New Flash Fiction Review.