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Grey Sparrow Journal and Press, as of January 31, 2018 will move to

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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by Tsipi Keller


1. Livers

She was on a crusade to save his liver. He said, Careful there with CRUSADE

remember Bush?

Later he said: Don’t worry about my liver, there’s more of me, you know, go for other parts, touch me here, there.

So she did. She touched him here, there.

Most often, it felt good to touch the parts he pointed to.

Sometimes some parts revolted and shrank.

She shrank, too.

Feeling inadequate, lacking, even though he kept insisting it wasn’t her fault, but his, something to do with enlarged prostates and shrinking libidos.

So she concentrated on other parts of his immense body.

Usually, the middle of it, which was hard “as a rock.”

Hallelujah! – she chanted.

Ditto! –  he echoed.

God Bless America! – they chanted together while watching baseball.


2.  Ankles

When she wasn’t with him, she walked the streets, dreaming of transatlantic flights. Such grandeur! She saw Paris, she saw Berlin, but most often she saw London, so in-the-news lately.  I’ll go out there and hook up with Bansky, she thought, or that soccer person whose name she happened to forget—how could she?—but whose name—she remembered for sure—also began with a B. The guy himself, she also knew (being up-to-date on the news), was on his way to New York and already complaining of swollen ankles. It’s always something, she thought unhappily. Livers, ankles, prostates; it always rains on us, women.


3. (After) Two Serious Ladies


One day she bumped into Bernice, an elegant woman she knew from the neighborhood,  a famous oddball, who more or less proposed to her, right there on the street, near the lovely park on First Avenue and Seventeenth Street.  (Later, she told him about this, verbatim.)


                “Hello Rolanda, may I ask you something?” Bernice asked, stumbling a bit, all confused and shy, and she (named Rolanda, obviously), already charmed, said, “Why, of course,” all so innocent and tickled.


                “Yes, yes,” said Bernice, “will you come home with me? It’s not very far, you’ll like it, you’ll have your own bed, a room of your own, until we part.”


                “Part? Part where?” Rolanda asked, still innocent and tickled, while the dear lady Bernice is wringing her elegant hands, and Rolanda’s heart, too.


                “Listen,” said Rolanda, “stop this wringing it hurts,” and Bernice stopped, giving Rolanda a certain look through her stylish shades and letting out a small sigh.


                “Yes, you’re right, it’s a revolting habit, forgive me, will you come?”


                “Yes, why not, hand in hand to the Eiffel Tower, okay?”


                “Okay,” said Bernice, “and maybe also a trip to the Sunshine State?”


                “Fine with me,” said Rolanda, and the two proceeded, uncertainly, into a trompe-l’oeil depicting tranquility.