Give her a beer. He said. I wore a grandma sweater. A straight barrette clipped back my hair. I had mentioned my three young children, my clergy husband. I didn’t say I had bounced in a club mirror, Alabama Slammer dribbling down my chin. I didn’t say I leaned over a rooftop, a junkie plunging me from behind. I didn’t say that number thirteen is notched on my chest. His crew chuckled. I glanced over the wool at my neck, a blaze igniting inside my surprise, the beginning of the unveiling. Women disappear under many layers. Sometimes knits and purls. Sometimes eyeshadow and semen. Sometimes the laughter of ignorance.
Thea Swanson holds an MFA in Writing from Pacific University in Oregon. She is the Founding Editor of Club Plum Literary Journal, and her flash-fiction collection, Mars, was published by Ravenna Press in 2017. Her flash-fiction collection, There and Here, was longlisted in the Tarpaulin Sky Press 2020 Book Awards. She is a fiction finalist in the 2020 Best of the Net Anthology. Her poetry and essays are published or forthcoming in places like Drunk Monkeys, Spillway, and Northwest Review. Her work can be found in many journals.