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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 1: January 2020
Micro-Fiction: 179 words
By Steve Cushman

So Damn Tired


11:38 on a Tuesday morning and all she wants to do is sleep. She knows her time is fleeting, so shouldn’t she be outside breathing in this fine, spring day? Listening to the robins? Watching the way the sparrows, the titmice, and even the goldfinch fill her backyard with life and color and perhaps she should, but she’s so damn tired after another round of chemo and these sheets feel so soft, so nice, against her skin.

In this bed, she can pretend she is sixteen again, healthy, in love with a boy named Roger Hart, the way she touched him down there, the hardness of his cock pressing through his jeans. She closes her eyes, remembers summer afternoons, her father mowing the yard outside her window as Roger explored her body with his hands, his tongue, his lips.

She thinks, you can have your birds, your yard, your fresh air. I’ve got this bed and it has me and for a few minutes I’ve got Roger again and I don’t want another damn living thing.

Steve Cushman
Issue 1, January 2020

earned an MA degree from Hollins University and an MFA from UNC-Greensboro. He is the author of four books of fiction, including the 2004 Novello Literary Award-winning novel Portisville, and most recently the novel Hopscotch. His first full-length poetry collection, How Birds Fly, is the winner of the 2018 Lena Shull Book Award. After working as an X-ray Technologist for twenty years, Cushman now works in the IT Department at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital, and lives with his family in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Author’s website: http://www.stevecushman.net/index.htm

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Hospital Poet Sees the Stories in Everything, article by Jeri Rowe in News & Record (26 January 2014)

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