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Sarah draws little moustaches

Story by Brendan Todt (Read author interview) June 17, 2024

Art based on a Getty Image via Canva

Sarah draws little moustaches on her headshots on the flyers announcing her latest poetry reading. Sometimes the department finds them, takes them down, prints off more, and hangs them. Then Sarah draws little moustaches again. Or sometimes ears or horns. In her building and in all the others around campus, into which the department cannot see.

On the second floor of the fine art building she has drawn breasts that sag so low they had to be put on the flyer below: something about a singing sorority Sarah has never heard of. Big sagging breasts with nipples like penetrating eyeballs. On the first floor, near the famous conductor’s office, she never dares alter them, though sometimes they, too, appear with moustaches or hats or various, primitive phallic representations.

Eventually Sarah stops drawing, but not everyone does. So grosser and more vile the flyers grow. In addition to the phallus: more ears, more breasts, horn rim glasses, (oddly) a cane. Another phallus. Another. Eventually, Sarah delivers the reading and the flyers disappear but below them remain the breasts and above them the ears. The corners of the angry glasses. A hand off to the side flipping the bird. In the middle: the emptiness Sarah used to occupy, missing but not exactly missed.

About the Author

Brendan Todt lives in Sioux City, Iowa. His poem “Because the Living May Be Worth Something, Too” was selected as a Best of the Net nominee by Ekphrastic Review. He won the 2021 Juxtaprose Poetry prize. He teaches creative writing at Morningside University.

This story appeared in Issue Eighty-Four — The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Eighty-Four — The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction

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