“Shove and Punched”
by Kayla Blatchley

She woke up with a face like it’d been punched. She recalled a dream where she shoved her lover, with a hand at his neck, one at his hair, shoving him down, but she wasn’t punched. She questioned whether she’d ever been violent in dreams before. Violent and disciplinary. In the dream she thought of him as something small to quash, to shove down and she does not like that about herself, that sometimes she thinks of him as small and in need of putting down.

But her face, and especially, her eyes. Puffy, with a hard crease, a slight stun to them.

She went out into the cold to let her face calm down. The cold would be good for the swelling. The outside provided its own distractions and soon she was concerned with the strangers who passed her, any number of them who might look up, into her face, and what would they think? Then she concerned herself with putting out the cigarette, and any wayward, still-lit ash, and how the wind could carry it into some waiting, incendiary thing.

 

Kayla Blatchley is a writer living in the Midwest. Her work can also be found in the literary magazine Unsaid.