Margaret Thatcher by Meg Pokrass

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The kinds of things he says about his wife. The way he describes her smile.

“Actually, you know who she reminds me of the most?”

”Nope, who,” I say.

“She reminds me of Margaret Thatcher, the Meryl Streep version,” he says. He laughs. I laugh. We laugh and sometimes I cry. He holds me and asks me what time my therapy is. “I’ll walk you there on my way to the subway,” he says.

The industrial veil she wore in their wedding. The school-boyish way he lifted it to kiss her. You see it in your mind like reruns of Cagney and Lacey. You like the show but it bores you and you wonder why you’re lonely enough to watch it again tonight. She is the kind of woman who believes in doing things the right way the first time around. “Where did you go on your honeymoon?” you ask. “Wrong question,” he says. “The real question is, would I do it again?”

I climb him and from the top of his body I look down on his life from above. His nose like a landing pad, fleshy and strong. I see him with the wife in amusing family squeezes, imagining his nose next to his never-naked wife. I see them sharing meals, smiling with no echo, him setting a timer while she finishes her lamb.

How you amuse yourself. You talk to your therapist about all of the guys you’ve loved. You charm her, a weekly comedy act. You make her care about you. Even though she doesn’t say it. Even though she raises her fee again because her office rent is going up.

The pitch of your lovers voice reminds you of someone. You can’t remember who. “Does your wife have a nice singing voice?” you ask him. “You must be kidding,” he says. He thinks you’re so funny.. You imagine Margaret Thatcher in a Broadway musical. She’s playing a sad, lonely person who used to have love in her life. Her hair flattens around her face, a face that used to be knowable. Her blank eyes stare at the orchestra pit.

 

This is a sample story from Meg’s forthcoming flash collection, “The Dog Seated Next to Me” (Pelekinesis Press, 2019).  Here is an early review of the collection. The  link to pre-order the book is here. If you’d like to review this book, please e-mail the author and she will send you an advance copy.

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 Free-Photos

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