by Sarah Freligh
That summer I hung out with the lifers, girls who’d mastered the four-plate carry and the stink eye for guys with fast hands. We drank beer at a dive bar between shifts, played darts or pool until dinner. I punched in and folded napkins into swans and sharks and sailor hats. The cook called me a fat cunt, and no one said please or thank you. I served and smiled. I was a fish under ice, swimming toward a light. So many slow mornings. So much traffic behind me and in front of me the stoplight always stuck on red.
Sarah Freligh is the author of four books, including Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis, and We, published by Harbor Editions in early 2021. Recent work has appeared in the Cincinnati Review miCRo series, SmokeLong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Fractured Lit, and in the anthologies New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction (Norton 2018) and Best Microfiction (2019-21). Among her awards are a 2009 poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts.