High Tea 

After the mastectomy, my uncle said they were smooth as the underside of a frog. Said it like we were sitting over beer in a husky pub, our

profiles silhouetted by bar lamps overhung—but it was just our couch

and my parents were there and he was talking to them and not me, drunk on choking back snot and tears—and so looking at a child, who looks intently back. She was a stoic. The walls of her face mortared, held. Shoulder blades jutted aerodynamically from her body. Her pinched posture was a cottoned nosebleed. I searched the room for something to stare at, settling on the tile cracks while the grown-ups talked and ate small sandwiches and petit fours. When it was over, we tossed them a slight wave from the door frame. Smiling, like good Samaritans, proud of our kindness.

April Rubasch received her MFA in creative writing with an emphasis in poetry from the University of Arizona in 2005. She was the recipient of the Fred N. Scott Award for fiction and the M.P. Hamilton Award for poetry through the University of Arizona in 2002 and was nominated for the 2004 Ruth Lily Poetry Fellowship Award. Her poem Snafu was published in Into the Teeth of the Wind in 2008. She recently received an “honorable mention” in Writer’s Digest for her short story Snow.

©2018 HighShelfPress. 

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