by Meg Pokrass
The women were large as human snails and round as moons. They lolled in and asked my husband for money. He did not know them but I had a feeling he would be nice to them, they were women, and they had breasts.
Between the two round women and myself, there were five breasts in the room, and one fake breast. The fake breast was an implant. I had named her “Iris.” Iris is a beautiful name, it is the name of a blond woman running through a field of flowers, barefoot.
The two plump women moved in so close I could smell their shampoo. One of the women said to my husband that her breasts were as round as money. How much money would he pay her to touch them? My husband looked at me like a naughty dog might look at its master.
“Would you like to start with one nipple?” the rounder woman said.
I realized that she did not see me there, in the room, with my lovely false breast, and my less-lovely real breast. The real breast did not have a name, which suddenly felt unfair.
The other woman (less round) slid off her jeans. She didn’t even ask if it would be okay. She had long legs. My husband’s Adam’s apple moved. He looked like a little boy lost in a huge grocery store. I found myself enjoying the fact that the round women had eye problems and could not see me standing there right in front of everything.
If I really wanted to speak to them, I could. I could even say, “go away now, ladies, this fella is married,” but there was no reason to. I wanted to watch. To see if he could perform under such conditions.
I nudged his foot with my index finger and he flicked it off like lint. I touched his hair, whispered, “It is getting so long now…” and he shuddered. The other woman was watching, taking notes. The rounder woman with the kissing problem kept going.
My husband’s eyes were fixed on the window. This made me sad, as though he were looking for me but couldn’t find me.
It made me shudder all the way into the woods, where I slept with a pack of wild dogs—unseen.
All Beasts Are People
by Meg Pokrass
Gunning it up the hill, because the brakes were shot, I was a cartoon girl in a cartoon car. Half way up, I was still pregnant, driving the ragged car that growled with hunger when I pressed the pedal.
I saw the tiger cat out of the corner of my eye and did not hit it. Instead, I drove into what felt like a wall. A woman screamed or a parrot shrieked. I pictured a diabetic woman, my mother perhaps, falling. A liquid wave of tenderness washed over my face, had something to do with the cat.
In the rear view mirror how quickly gray, fluffy clouds were closing in and turning the sky the color of a bruised eye. Pepper clouds, I thought. Pepper was inside there, not rain….
Later, the doctor who was talking to me about the “split between here and there” had blond hair, and he looked like my first boyfriend, the one who took my virginity, the one who I still talked to in my mind.
There was nothing toxic about the environment here, the one I was in, he said.
“Did I believe in beasts?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said. “Hitler, of course. All beasts are people.”
The doctor held up two twigs. One was me and the other looked like my twin. The other me was a stronger specimen, not yet bent or ruined.
Meg Pokrass is the author of “Damn Sure Right” (Press 53, 2011) and a novella-in-flash “Here, Where We Live.” Her new, full flash fiction collection “The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down” is forthcoming from Etruscan Press (Spring, 2016) and a forthcoming book of prose poetry “Cellulose Pajamas” won the Blue Light Book Award.