Sleetmagazine.com

Volume 12 • Number 1 • Spring - Summer 2020

Phillip Sterling

Comeback

How many? was the question on everyone’s mind, a good question. You couldn’t tell from the peep hole in the cardboard where the window used to be. Like a separate argument with the same results. Technically it would still be a window, if one meant the looking out place and not the glass.

Does glass a window make? he’d asked, inching an eyebrow meaningfully.

By then she’d had enough. And shortly thereafter skirted the shards—astral, glittering, too numerous to count—to make her way out.

There were others, surely, hidden like green wires among holiday boughs.

Years later she’d think of it: Is it still a curse if you don’t believe in God? By then her mother was dead, a blond vanity the only furniture she recognized in her ancestral home.

That’s when she recalled the window, its elaborate fretwork. And the closet where the broom and dust pan were stored . . .

Phillip Sterling is the author of a book of fiction, In Which Brief Stories Are Told, two collections of poetry (And Then Snow, Mutual Shores) and four chapbook-length series of poems. His new book, Amateur Husbandry, a collection of micro-fictions narrated by the domestic partner of a yellow horse, is available from Mayapple Press.
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