They have sex without asking, no words. His belly is soft, he's gained weight; her breasts are sore. Their baby has been suckling, kneading, asking for them. Once, when she swam into a man 'o war, he'd pulled her from the water and got the tentacle out with meat tenderizer, then kissed the wound. He was thin, thinner than she was, even; he could wear her jeans. Sometimes he did. There is a strawberry mark behind his left shoulder. When she traces it, he stands up and goes to lie down in the bathroom. When he falls asleep, she leaves and looks in on their child. Transparent hair and blue eyes; perhaps his eyes, his hair. She would like to touch the whorl but it would wake him.
Claudia Smith's collection of short-shorts, The Sky Is A Well And Other Shorts, is available from Rose Metal Press and Powell's. More of her work may be found at www.claudiaweb.net