Robert Shapard

Piggish

I was a piggish child, thin and small. I wore glasses and would eat anything—it was my way of knowing the world. I ate mold, weeds, shoe polish, and fish food. I tasted shit. In the lab at school I tasted bases, salts, acids, toxic clouds, and suffered only minor damage. By medical school I’d grown tall, and more normal. I tasted my girlfriend every way I could. Sweat, scales, palms, ankles, etc. Her lotions and perfumes. She was easy with people but uneasy with me. I love the way you taste, I said. Get lost! she said. There’s no other taste in the world like you, I said. She lowered her book and gave me a long, thoughtful look. She said, You’re a pig and you know it, and raised her book again. Then she rested her foot in my lap, and sighed, But you’re my pig.

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Robert Shapard’s stories have appeared in Hoc Tok, 100-Word Story, Juked, Kenyon Review, and New England Review. Recently he led a flash fiction “Symposium” for Hobart and his interview with Sherrie Flick will appear soon in Fiction Southeast. He’s co-editor of Flash Fiction International, 2015, W.W. Norton.