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January 2019, vol 14 no 4

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Bill Gottlieb

At Odds and Ends

The wife puts on a lot of makeup before driving south to a spa town. As she closes the car door behind her, she flashes the husband her wedding ring, so he doesn’t think she’ll take off her clothes and her vow in the tourist-stuffed tubs. He stands in a mist of dust as she pulls out of the driveway; waves at the car – white as a bride, dirty as a word – as she speeds down the two-faced, yellow-bellied lane; thinks about the rat-a-tat of complaint he’s been riddled with all week – how he never met her needs, made her happy, saw beyond the end of his cunt-sniffing schnoz. I have to work today, the husband told the wife, the strokes of dollar signs like stakes in his grubbing heart. Knock yourself out, she countered, with a gassing sigh.

our separation
the leaves that have
let go