I rented an apartment above the bank downtown, where, straight out of the 40’s, an army of women staffed the gleaming counter, dabbing their lips and patting their hair. The children’s footsteps echoed through the light and airy halls. I don’t think we’re any safer here, my husband whispered, eyeing the crumbling black and white tiles, the slow flies buzzing in the windows. Winter was coming. The police would come faster if we lived above a vault. Later, when fall colors were at their finest, we could hold dinner parties at the country house. Now, on our first night, we searched for the hidden staircase to our new quarters. We each held a twin’s hand, but when the baby wailed, we saw yellow jackets crawling all over her teeth and tongue.
Kathleen McGookey’s most recent book is Stay (Press 53). Her book Heart in a Jar is forthcoming from White Pine Press in Spring 2017. Her work has appeared in journals including Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Epoch, Field, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, and Quarterly West. She has received grants from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sustainable Arts Foundation.
FLASH GLASS: A MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF FLASH FICTION, PROSE POETRY, & MICRO ESSAYS