You always smelled like your dog,
and I usually found stray fur on your coat.
The coat was always plaid flannel.
None of this suited me.
Most nights, I close my eyes—always thinking—and I imagine how it should have been:
No carcasses skating in scalding water
No white feathers atop rubber boots.
No peeling away layers of cotton and flannel.
No dry-skinned hands pulling slowly over thighs.
No sighs suffocating in couch cushions.
No blood-scabbed fingers between teeth.
No chafed heels against toes.
No orange fire breathing below,
no roasting sets of feet.
Remember the night we ate the fruit from the bowl.
I said, “I don’t wanna be wrapped up in you.”
These thoughts call to memory the scent that seeps from an orange.
I insert my thumb, open the neon flower.
Breathe you in.
About Monic Ductan:
Monic Ductan is a Southern fiction writer and poet from rural Georgia. She has an undergraduate degree in English from Georgia State University, and she currently studies Social Work at the University of Georgia. She has published in several literary magazines, including The Blue Moon Literary and Art Review and Black Magnolias Journal. Her work is forthcoming in Sleet and Stone Highway Review.