the id is: 5513

Content:

Stubble

By Kim Chinquee

Body:

My arm on his, my face against his stubble. His pillows are like velvet. I get used to calling his place my place, his yard my yard, his bed my bed, his vehicle mine. It's a sports utility of some kind, one that could pull a boat, when he had a boat, his boat now on a jetty, the boat he's trying to sell since his ex-wife divorced him, since he came back to me again, after all these twenty years later.

I look at his pictures on the wall, him on a bull, the animal kicking. There's a reason he's a champion. When I ask about those days, how he was off the radar, he says if I really knew, I probably wouldn't like him. There's a reason I married someone else. There's a reason I'm divorced now.

These days he complains about his body. I tell him it is solid.

He says my body's small. He asks if he can help me.

I take a shower with his tangerine soap. I use his rubber gloves to clean the toilet. I sit on his sofa, turn on his stereo, sweep his floor. I go into his closet, wearing his shirts: one over the other over the other. I lift each shirt. The smell of his detergent. His. So heavy, warm--just piling it on.

Kim Chinquee is the author of the collections Oh Baby and Pretty. She lives in Buffalo, New York.

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