Gwendolyn Jerris

He does not notice when the delicate petals have mounded around the vase, brown edged, curling upward.

She writes: S. Be back soon. Don’t forget to… E.

At the market, she floats through the crowd easily. Roses, she says, and her thin voice travels only slightly beyond the front of her teeth. 

Long after, her hands hover above the stems on the counter. When he walks past her, the air shifts in the space where her torso had been. 

His supper has cooled, it is late, and he takes the plate down the stairs, turns on the television. 

The sound rumbles like thunder throughout the house, but she hears only the dull rhythmic snip of the scissors. 

A thorn pricks a finger; a small drop of blood rises to the surface like the tip of a submarine. She waits for the sting, but there is none. He thinks there is something he has forgotten to do.

He thinks of breasts, remembers soft rounded nipples. He falls asleep; his feet are no longer there to rest on the pillows. 

In the morning the house is lifeless, save for a vase of freshly cut and newly blooming roses.