Monster by Aurelie Sheehan

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.

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

Three women dancing in an alleyway with lightbulbs for heads
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