Jesus of Portland, Oregon by Meg Pokrass

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1. He reads labels. Even perfume labels. Rides the double-decker buses so he can watch from above. I poke at the halo around his shorts with my   wayward finger. “You have strange ideas, Mary-of-the mushroom-teas,” he says, mussing up my hair, not noticing the finger, like, at all.

2. His eyes dilate when he catches sight of organic certifications. They’re everywhere. He’s always blushing. I’m wondering when he’ll arrive, where we’ll have our veggie sushi, and—even more to the point—am I going to be able to seduce him? I say things more for myself than for him. About him being asexual I’m wearing a tank top, hoping to lure him with my bellybutton-gear.  “Celebate, celebate, celebate,” I sing.

“That’s all you sing about, o Mary with the golden voice, o young lady of the CBD oil,” he chirps.

3. He doesn’t mind walking to my place in sweatified, toxic, un-cocooned air. Drinking coffee out of his own container. I’m thinking about him with his long hair, the two of us making a jewellery company. Buying a tool shed, calling it a craftsman. Forming a Bon Iver Appreciation Band.

4. I’ve cracked my iPhone, and it pleases him. He Instagrams everything, even his fondness for me, because it’s the quickest way to preserve the lives of my own future children. The ones he won’t be giving me.

5. “Good morning, hemp-bird,” he texts. We don’t drink kombucha anymore. We don’t drink bubble tea. We drink smoothies and Instagram them. I give up again, get myself a rescue dog. I take her to dog-friendly kombucha bars. I like the buzz of the brew as it settles in my stomach. I hashtag my love for unwinnable animals.

Meg Pokrass

Meg Pokrass is the author of five flash fiction collections, two novellas-in-flash, and is the recipient of the Blue Light Book Award. Her work has been internationally anthologized in two Norton Anthology Readers, Best Small Fictions 2018 and 2019, the Wigleaf Top 50 List, and her work has appeared in over 350 literary magazines including Electric Literature, Craft, Tin House, Passages North, Wigleaf and Smokelong Quarterly. She currently serves as Flash Challenge Editor at Mslexia Magazine, Festival Curator for Flash Fiction Festival, U.K. (Bristol) Co-Editor of Best Microfiction, 2020, and Founding/Managing Editor of New Flash Fiction Review.

Photo by Geralt

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