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Memory of May

Meg Pokrass


It might have had something to do with the way he mumbled my name instead of whispering it while doing the cosmic dance. Or how he could no longer jog. Or it may have had something to do with a mystery woman who left a fold up toothbrush in the bathroom the summer I left, but he didn’t have a memory of her name since the accident. “She was just a friend,” he said, but it bugged me.

He said doctors agree that healing takes time. He used to love to go running at night, but that was when we lived near the old palm tree downtown, the one with a fig tree sprouting up between its roots, when we had enough money to invest in free range eggs for Chef’s salad.

Or it might have had something to do with how guacamole didn’t taste the way it did before the accident, when we used fresh lemon peel, but couldn’t remember the type of the lemon. He googled around and said that like all good things, that particular type of lemon has disappeared from our planet, which is why he preferred canned stuff instead.

Anyway, it came back to him later, the name of the owner of the toothbrush, a stewardess called May. But he was a completely different person back then, he said, which made a kind of slanted sense to me, so I just smiled.

“Hm. Okay. Let’s make guacamole with lime,” I said, not sure what else to suggest, and he told me that he once believed a woman needed a man to lean on, but that he leaned on me instead, which gave me a type of juice.


Meg Pokrass is the author of nine collections of flash fiction and two novellas in flash. Her work has been published in 3 Norton anthologies including Flash Fiction America, New Micro, and Flash Fiction International; The Best Small Fictions 2018, 2019, 2022, and 2023; The Wigleaf Top 50, and magazines such as Electric Literature, New England Review, McSweeney’s, Washington Square Review and Passages North. A new flash fiction collection, The First Law of Holes: New and Selected Stories by Meg Pokrass, is forthcoming from Dzanc Books in 2024.


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