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Thirty Years After Graduation, I Spy You in Aisle Five   

I’d have bet prison, fifteen to life for offing your ex while he slept next to the younger blonde who’d stolen your crown. Or maybe the roller derby, skating endless, sweaty circles alongside women nicknamed Glory Hole and Cuntalingus, girls who’d sharpened their elbows on high school scorn. Or most likely an OD, a quick funeral with a closed casket smothered in flowers smelling of pee and furniture polish, a service where the clueless pastor lists prudence as one of your stellar qualities. But here you are alive in Aisle Five shushing a pale something whose fat legs are threaded into a grocery cart full up with jars of baby food the color of what we used to puke up at parties so we could drink more. I should thank you for explaining blow job to me, for slipping me that baggie full of pills that hotted up my heart until I burned a furnace of calories and finally got skinny. Instead we talk about Lucy, Sherry Pam: Cancer, a stroke, a jealous lover. Once I dreamed they were waving from a boat pulling away from the shore. I don’t know where I thought you were. Driving, I suppose.

Sarah Freligh is the author of five books, including Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis, and A Brief Natural History of Women, forthcoming in 2023 from Harbor Editions. Recent work has appeared in the Cincinnati Review miCRo series, SmokeLong Quarterly, the Wigleaf 50, and in the anthologies New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction (Norton 2018), Best Microfiction (2019-22), and Best Small Fiction 2022. Among her awards are poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Saltonstall Foundation.

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