The air prickled my skin and burned my lungs, its frigid fingers clawing my flesh. But the cold didn’t matter, because I was still alive.
We were fishing on the lake when he told me. I’m leaving, is all he said. I nodded and smiled, on the quiet lake, alone.
He loved the taste of cheap vodka, like nail polish remover. Before she left, his mother would talk with him and remove the day’s color.
I said the compass suddenly stopped working, but I submerged it in a creek. I hoped we weren’t skilled enough to navigate our way home.
I keep keys for all the apartments I’ve lived in. Some don’t change. I go in, pretending to live a different life for a while.
The whir of the fan used to lull him to sleep. Now, without the backdrop of her yelling through the door, the hum is unsettling.
His lips became a patchwork of blood and flaking skin from his labored breathing. I remembered him that way. I thought they were a masterpiece.
Before I left her, I dumped all the liquor, including the bottles hidden in her bookshelf. I hoped I’d spare her life a while longer.
I wrote a letter to my estranged father. As I licked the envelope, it sliced my tongue. I decided not to send it to him.
My mother accidentally put almonds in the cookies. I didn’t mind the welts. She paid attention to me, even though it was out of guilt.