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SmokeLong Quarterly

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Three Bodies

Story by Mike Meginnis (Read author interview) March 29, 2011

art by Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary

Body #59

This body cannot remember the faces of other bodies. Not its wife’s body’s face. Not it’s father’s body’s face. Not its mother’s body’s face. It can only recognize hands. It turns the hands over in its hands. Remembers the moles. Remembers the wrinkles.

At night it holds its wife’s body’s hands in its own. It speaks to these. They seem to speak when her body speaks. Its body is therefore most recognizable to its wife’s body when its face is downcast.

Body #68

This body’s waiting for the doctor’s body. In the doctor’s body’s office it is cold. Its skin rears up outraged. The window is open—not the glass, but the blinds, slanted to allow light in, but also eyes. This body’d like to twist the blinds closed. This body is afraid to close the blinds. They seem somehow medical.

Suppose a body came up to the window. Looking inward, through the blinds, that body would see this body’s sickness. It would see and understand what’s wrong.

On the wall a detailed drawing of the human nervous system, it’s all lit up like a birthday.

Body #75

Apartment complex residue thick on the pads of its fingers.

The smell of day-old pizza.

A lungful of television.

A lungful of solicitous phone calls from strangers.

Grand old party robopoll sweat on the small of its back.

Sour apple skins between its teeth.

About the Author

Mike Meginnis has stories forthcoming in The Lifted Brow, Hobart, elimae, Abjective, A cappella Zoo, Dark Sky, and others. He currently serves as a managing editor of Puerto del Sol, and co-edits Uncanny Valley with his wife, Tracy Bowling.

About the Artist

Image from the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary, published in Russia, 1890-1907. The book’s contents are in the public domain.

This story appeared in Issue Thirty-One of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Thirty-One
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