I gave the wifely woman a sunflower, which soon drooped in its vase, broken. We had a cat and a boy who might be my son, candidates for passive aggression. Since the boy arrived, the cat had left scratches on his backpack, a hairball in his sneaker. But it didn’t object to a little petting. The boy tried to over-love it, which—a lesson—had backfired. I wondered if the boy was really learning. I caught him watering the snapped flower.
Matthew Salesses is the author of The Last Repatriate (Nouvella) and two chapbooks, Our Island of Epidemics (PANK) and We Will Take What We Can Get (Publishing Genius). This story is from a series, I'M NOT SAYING, I'M JUST SAYING, others of which have or will appear in the Literarian, Puerto del Sol, NANO Fiction, The Lifted Brow, and others.