When I can no longer stand to look at him I go to Costco, lost among bundles of toilet paper and three pound blocks of butter. If I timed it right I could stay overnight, hide myself down in a bin of discount Michael Kors pea coats and think how nice it would be to have faith in God and Sex and Love. I could stay thirteen hours before being found and maybe longer, depending on the season. Thirteen hours before going home to match your socks and say I love you.

I could wonder what it would be like to do that to a person or I could do it to a person. Not him, but someone new or even someone old, which would be easier. I would feel a little less and it would not be the same but it would be okay.

I could become feathered, take flight to our blue-grey boulders and the oak tree. I could spit up the food I eat and feed it to my chicks and think they’re brilliant like mothers always do, feel good for a little while. I put myself in his shoes, hear the myriad things he won’t say to me. I ask him the things I should but I’m disappointed so I lean toward silence.

His color is from the sun but I know how red he gets when he’s embarrassed. It’s the red of cooked lobsters he ate with girls before me. I didn’t grow up on the East Coast but the Pacific looks the same and I spent enough time in the attic of a Bonnet Shores beach house to know lobster red when I see it.

Moments when his life brushes too close to mine: her letter, a breeze on the elbow, August.

I keep a list of the reasons I need to love him.




Midway postapocalyptic
purgatory Afterward


Brenna Kischuk is a writer and editor with a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was also a Teaching Fellow. Currently she is the Editorial Director of The Angle Magazine and founder and editor of online literary journal, pioneertown . Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in NOÖ Journal, theNewerYork, HTMLGIANT, Matchbook Literary Magazine, Chicago Arts Journal, Used Furniture Review, and elsewhere. Find her online at

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