Aurelie Sheehan


Monster

I am lonely, so lonely that I go to the store to buy lemonade and when l see you at the register I say, hubba hubba, sweet lady, and you say [shriek]. This isn’t helping at all, this whole, other people thing. I go back to my box and lie down. Beauty is: beauty is life. Beauty is: beauty is you. I myself am sorely lacking in the beauty category. Then it’s lunchtime. I want you I want you. I go back to the store and you’re still behind the counter. You look—troubled? You’re looking around the cash register for maybe a box opener or a tire iron and then you’ve got what you were looking for, darn it, a gun. You’re pointing it at me and kerpow! I’m dead. No, just wounded. How great not to be dead! I go back to my box bleeding and feeling piqued and seeing stars and the moon and the sun and the pavement. I am lonely, so lonely and I’ll just lay here and try to adjust. Time passes; moons, suns again. And then you appear. Your face, looking in. Are you all right? Can I get you anything? I hold onto your leg and you tumble and break a little part of your skin. We are one.

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Aurelie Sheehan’s most recent book, Once into the Night, won FC2’s Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize. Her work has appeared in ConjunctionsMississippi ReviewPloughshares, and other journals. She is a professor of fiction and head of the Department of English at the University of Arizona.