ONCE AGAIN MARY FAILS TO LEAVE HIM

BY ZOZIE BEATRICE

“Dead?” She stared at his back: garbage can, shoe wrenched from his foot, mp3 case, cell, stapler, alarm clock. Poke. Poke. Kiss. “I’m out of here.” Halfway, her heart crystallized. Once, she’d have watched him sleep for hours, forgetting when he spoke sugar and noticed, noticed. Then

— crash.  The alarm clock ringing, the garbage waterfall, spinning, stricken, his face rag-doll smiling, himself bed-edge, arms grasping widely, stupid as a baby’s. “C’mere.” Rubbing his head. Scowling. “Was thinking.” “I know, baby.” Smack.

Zozie Beatrice is a crazed Milwaukeean and an English major in hiding. She writes more often than she lets on.

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