Ten pieces by Len Kuntz
Her wrist corsage scratched, Pop Rocks exploding against her hot breath. She said, “You kiss like a spaghetti monster,” but made me a man anyway.
We swam naked in black water. The moon bent something inside me. She went under, never came up. Now I walk the sand nightly, waiting.
I used to study them—bright bruises the color of mustard and plums, shaped like continents or crafty creatures—mother’s artwork on a flesh canvas.
Room With A View
On the ship’s deck we disrobed. Dolphins dove below us. Voyeur clouds and a lone gull were our only witnesses, the baby blooming inside you.
Like a too-fat ballerina in your bouncy seat, you claimed the air, gurgling, just twelve months old, already the giddy thief who stole my heart.
Walk Down The Aisle
Friends suggested getting high, thick socks for cold feet. “Check the exit,” they said. “we’ll be waiting.”
But you were the best thing.
She was heavy, but mine, clinging to me like a life raft while little Michael sang “Ben,” my first kiss a cave I fell through.
The strap was leather, long, dyed black, with tooled scrolls of cactus and bulls. The buckle hurt the most. My father, he could really swing.
Spider web hair, false teeth and a cigarette stitched in her hand even with an oxygen tank. This woman who made me less than whole.
The baby looks preposterous, huge watermelon head, shrimp-sized torso. All my crimes come to roost, me thinking, Sins of the father, the doctor saying, “Sorry.”
Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State. His work appears widely in print and online at such places as The Literarian, Boston Literary Magazine, Elimae and PANK. Every few days he writes about life and other things at lenkuntz.blogspot.com
Two pieces by Leslie Roberts
I still find this in my swimsuit and remember the castle we built in the south ofFranceand how the waves crashed over it.
Fuchsia Shock Crème
“Look mommy,” you giggled, “I colored the kitty!” Turns out nail polish remover burns cat hair right off; the poor thing was pink either way.
Leslie Roberts is a college student living in small-townTennessee and dreaming of a big-city future.