She opted for options, always measuring portions, turning each meal on its Lazy Susan, reaching for soup before it cooled, then rotating back for tea before it became her temperature. Not proud of her middle name, she made it her first, signing checks that way, credit card receipts—corporate America didn’t notice. She’d gladly invert everything, use socks as scarfs across the underside of her cool jaw; yet things never got this far—it was enough just to entertain thoughts. Instead, she hid as elegantly as she could, in the liminal, going for long runs in the dead, lightless hours.


Peter Gutierrez has had fiction and poetry in a range of lit journals and anthologies over the past couple of decades. 2020 publications include Gone Lawn, Misery Tourism, The Dark, and Expat Press. You can find him on Twitter @suddenlyquiet.