Photo by Mario Gogh on Unsplash

Oscar took his time twisting on his blue tie, staring at himself in the mirror. It was Wednesday — that’s why he was wearing blue. Always blue on Wednesdays he recited to himself, then shuddered. Shut up, you loser.

Did he really have the energy for another one of these…

our room

Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash

in that room, i inhaled hundreds of late summer nights through the holes in the screen; cicadas and suburban silence. i hid under heavy covers, whispered into the sweaty house phone, begged the pale blue walls to tell me what was next. i tried on different faces, a…

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

i like to see how far i can go. first the water, then the highway. next i’ll cross it. or, down six miles of sidewalk ribboning between shiny sharp buildings. 746 people, 39 bodegas and 5 rats along the way. there’s a girl who does the same thing—only it’s her…

Photo by Matthew LeJune on Unsplash

i’m eating rice at my kitchen counter while the ceiling fan whips a too-cold breeze around the room. every seven minutes, the horrible creak of a construction crane splits the silence, nearly hitting our window every time it tries to reach the roof. the clock on the stove is blinking…

the sky is just beginning to blink its eyes blue, and a lawnmower is vibrating itself awake. a tangle of branches shivers — it hasn’t begun to sprout leaves yet…

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

the bed was an island we’d trek across daily. together, we unearthed thousands of patches of cool sheet and fourteen million stonehenges made of pillows. we rushed to show each other every time. on saturdays, we’d make out for an audience of screens. when i was bored of the plot…

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I’m leaving you, she announces over breakfast, and he asks her to pass the toast. Later that morning, the pill bottle is empty, but he’s still on his way to work. By noon, she’s fingering cucumbers at the supermarket, her nails shredding the slick skin, and he’s reminding himself not…

every morning i light all six candles and obsessively check the plants. tongue extended, the flame tries to lick the driest leaf but misses every time. is that what you call a ritual? there’s something that makes you hope it’ll catch. the air conditioner coughs out dust and heat all…

Photo by Ryan Wilson on Unsplash

every morning my roommate turns the bathroom light on and i turn it off. it’s the routine we comfort ourselves with before we waste time brewing coffee and agonizing over how orange the egg yolks are. then it’s my job to close the curtains before we remember the world has…

Abby Kloppenburg

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