by Meg Pokrass
Our divorce is final, and we’re having dinner at my place to toast to the idea of living separate lives. Lila brings beer, I’ve got the steaks soaking, she’s starting the laundry. I can’t stop humming. It’s new, but it beats smoking. Seems unwise to be here with her now, since everything we do together sucks.
‘Today I went to the shooting range,’ she says.
‘That’s great,’ I say, remembering the miscarriages. How depressed she became each time. The vasectomy. I remember when we met, the pinch of her waist—how I loved to pick her up and carry her around.
‘Shit yeah,’ Lila says.
She looks at my shoes, blows her nose, pops a seed out from between her teeth. ‘Pumpernickel,’ she says.
What I’ve heard her saying, many times, is there’s a rush when shooting at a target. I’m a bit sleepy when she’s here, so what I do is listen, and then I drift off.
When I wake up, she’s dancing with our sweet old Lab. They’re swaying near the TV, a blue glow around them. Tonight, the dog goes home with her. She won custody of Pup.
‘Target practice feels just right to me now,’ she says.
‘Bullseye,’ I say.
And then she’s crying in my arms, and I’m telling her that it’s going to be okay.
‘Because we’ll always have this,’ I say. ‘Because this is who we are.’
Meg Pokrass is the author of five flash fiction collections, an award-winning book of prose poetry, as well as a novella in flash. Her flash has been anthologized in Best Small Fictions 2018, The Wigleaf Top 50 2018, and 2 Norton anthologies: New Micro and Flash Fiction International.