In bed, he has the sensation of bugs crawling on his skin.
She regresses to childhood carnivals, a clown in red and white paint, a smile just for her. On school days, she was smaller than everyone. In the morning, over instant coffee and poppy seed muffins that leave crooked trails in paper plates, she brings up the subject again. It’s a done deal, he says. When you’re caught, you’re caught. She turns, putting on her best Kim Kardashian took-me-by-surprise face on talk shows. You’re only monogamous at close range, she counters, God knows what you do with the girls from Customer Service. She thinks certain types of women are attracted to men with club feet. You’re going to miss me when I’m gone is what she adds. He says How can I miss you when you’re not even gone yet? Crumbs fall from his mouth. She opens the apartment door for the morning paper. Under it is an ant. It’s not moving. Lately, she’s been suspecting that the building needs fumigating. The thought of bug spray making her nauseous. But throughout the day, she keeps thinking about that dead ant, what kind of unconscious life it had, how it survived in a world where everything was heavier than it. How it never felt the crush.
Kyle Hemmings is the author of several chapbooks of poems: Avenue C and Cat People (Scars Publications), Fuzzy Logic (Punkin Press), and Amsterdam & Other Broken Love Songs (Flutter Press). He has been published at Gold Wake Press, Thunderclap Press, Blue Fifth Review, Step Away, and The Other Room. He blogs at http://upatberggasse19.blogspot.com/.