by Len Kuntz
Len Kuntz lives on a lake in rural Washington State
with an eagle and three pesky beavers. His short
fiction appears in over 50 lit journals such as Juked,
elimae, and Mad Swirl as well as at
If you look close, you can see me
in her photo—I am the elongated
stain in the northeast section of her
mirrored sunglass frame. It’s our
anniversary and I should be smiling
she is—after a summer of
murder, she’s the one smiling—and
since I’ve never seen her offer an
expression like this before I’m mostly
stumped, car-struck and nervous, but
you’d never know because the lens
blocks my face, and anyway, as I
said, I’m simply a spot on the glass, a
smudge, a smear, a white-crusted
bird dropping.

Yesterday she stuffed the roses I
bought down the disposal. I came
back in to retrieve my forgotten
wallet and found her feeding limbs
into the manic metal mouth. A motor
tore up the stems and stamens, the
thorns and chlorophyll. She stood
over the sink watching. She ran
water. She might have been
weeping, I’m not sure, but I do know
for a fact that she was laughing.

She couldn’t see me, didn’t realize I
was there, but I had a feeling we
were both wondering over the same
thing—the ease of destruction, how
simple it is to kill a living thing,
unborn child or store-bought bouquet.
Gemini Magazine
2nd Place: $100
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