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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 12: March 2022
Micro Fiction: 250 words
By Mikki Aronoff

Split Apart

—after Abstract Composition Executed in Black Ink (1939) by Toyen *

Just as she’s driving south on Highway 101 thinking to take matters into her own hands and make a hard right over the cliff and into the waves, jabbing a middle finger in cancer’s eye, a cosmic cackle at what fate’s just two hours ago delivered in the form of test results, a giant rockslide piles down from the left and smashes her car. Twisted and pinned inside a wrinkle of metal, there’s nothing to do but float. She stares at the ocean, drifts to an old film, a young woman jumping into a rowboat with a man she dreamed about, a butcher, the soul mate she will wed to end her yearnings. Her split-apart. No seduction required. Destiny will take care of it all. Flashing blue lights fracture through the shattered front window and she thinks of that young woman working the meat counter at Christmas, brushing her hair away from her eyes, her still-wanting mouth half-parted, a misplaced milkweed pod slowly drying in the cold, waiting to scatter its seed. Someone’s yelling and pounding on the crumpled door and she’s laughing, thinking of Dorothy Parker calling her bird Onan because he kept spilling his seed, chuckles because she can more easily picture the cage than a cock. She laughs some more at that and they’re prying the door with crowbars, fingers curling into the narrow opening, and she’s laughing and choking and laughing.


* Publisher’s Note:

Abstract Composition Executed in Black Ink (1939) by Czech artist Toyen (1902–1980) may be viewed at: invaluable.com

For more about Toyen, see this essay by Barbora Bartunkova, Surrealism Against the War: The Shooting Gallery and Hide, War! by the Czech Artist Toyen, at MoMA dot org: Post: Notes on Art in a Global Context (2 October 2019).

Mikki Aronoff’s
Issue 12, March 2022

work appears in The Ekphrastic Review, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Intima, Thimble Literary Magazine, London Reader, SurVision, Rogue Agent, Popshot Quarterly, The South Shore Review, The Fortnightly Review, Feral, The Phare, Sledgehammer Lit, Flash Boulevard, New World Writing, and elsewhere. She has several Pushcart nominations and one for Best Microfiction 2022.

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