6.05 / May 2011


Two months after the wasp sting, the bruise is hard and small, the size of a button on a men’s dress shirt. A faint ring shadows the bruise, and she touches the center. Its hardness grows into her arm, toward the bone, and she feels the burn under her fingers. He says he doesn’t see anything. She thinks her forearm will become a rock if she is not careful. Her body feels further away already.

Some morning when she leaves the house, the rock will break off from her body when she knocks against the doorjamb, forgetting the hardness that pulls against her shoulder. It will fall in many pieces, get lost in the gravel. She won’t notice for a long time. Only when she reaches for the bruise, after they have set out their clothes for the next day, after he tells her she is pretty, after he quiets and breathes with his whole body, will she imagine the loss.

Callista Buchen has an MA in literature from the University of Oregon and an MFA in creative writing from Bowling Green State University. Her work has appeared in Gigantic, Bellevue Review, >kill author, and others, with reviews published in Mid-American Review, The Collagist, andPrick of the Spindle. She can be contacted at cmbuchen@gmail.com or via her website: http://callistabuchen.wordpress.com/
6.05 / May 2011