When I was seventeen, men were always wanting to feed me. Steak, quiche, Big Macs, ice cream. They wanted to take me to restaurants, put stuff inside me. One man offered me chicken soup he’d made himself, and I swooned. I thought: this man truly cares for me. I ate that soup on his worn brown couch in front of his television. I don’t remember what we watched, but I remember it was winter, the scratchy nubs of grass on his lawn frosted over. I remember I hadn’t even finished that bowl of soup before he shucked my pants. I understood then the purpose of the soup: a garden won’t feed you unless you feed it first. That man harvested all of me right there on the couch. I remember him telling me how good I tasted.
Michelle Ross is the author of There’s So Much They Haven’t Told You(2017), which won the 2016 Moon City Press Short Fiction Award. Her fiction has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Colorado Review, Gone Lawn, Nashville Review, Okay Donkey, and other venues. She is fiction editor of Atticus Review and was a consulting editor for the 2018 Best Small Fictions anthology. www.michellenross.com