They grow apples, pears. Turn the press to extract juice so sweet it needs an extra part water. They believe in juice, and morning coffee with three spoonfuls of sugar. She’s had a lifetime of migraines. Please drink some water, I beg. She refuses, and he says he won’t touch the stuff either. He takes wine from his coddled grapes. These days, instead of the farm, she tends to a gull on the porch, feeding it bread she keeps in a cardboard box. Sparrows beak the crumbs. I cannot tell her how bread crumbles avian bones. She speaks again, of how the eagle took one of the hens in the field and how she no longer wants to live. Nothing has gotten better since their son died, yet there are always chocolates on the table. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, he dissolves brown sugar crystals in water, leaves the nectar on the counter for his ants to feed. One crawls into the plastic bag he uses to gift me lemon cake, and he ushers it out. It’s difficult not to step on his pets’ crawling, plump bodies. Another climbs inside his shirt sleeve, and he allows this, while she collects the trampled ones from the floor.
This micro was a finalist in the 2021 SmokeLong Grand Micro Contest.