Piggish by Robert Shapard

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.

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.

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