Once a month, we meet for lunch. She orders watercress and Melba toast. She must stay small and sexual. Me, I order fat, drippy burgers and lusty chocolate pie. I order so many plates, I have to arrange them on the table like numbers on a clock.

“Your husband calls me every night,” she says, her ribs poking through her dress.

I take a long, savoring bite from my 3 o’clock plate, a deep doughy biscuit, silky with butter. “I know,” I tell her, “if you’d go away, maybe he’d make love to me.”

She swishes a lemon wedge around in her skinny water glass and tells me about the sex they have, how he swirls his tongue into every place he can taste her. That’s when it’s gone too far, and I aim my 5 o’clock pot roast at her and she flinches like I pointed a gun.

Which I only did that first time I found her number in my husband’s guilty cell phone. I called her and said I was the power company, and we had to come over to check her line. When I got to her floozy apartment, she was sitting at her vanity, perfume bottles and cold cream jars. Didn’t even scream when she saw my gun, just asked if she could fix her face, so she’d look decent for the cops. I thought of her lying there, glamour dead, and that’s when I asked her to lunch.

Thought it would be much more fun, the two of us, meeting like this once a month, the both of us bringing our hunger.


Francine Witte: is a poet, playwright and fiction writer living in New York City. Her flash fiction has appeared in Doorknobs and BodyPaint, in posse review, slow trains literary journals as well as numerous print journals. Her flash fiction chapbook, The Wind Twirls Everything was published by MuscleHead Press, a division of Boneworld Publishing in Russell, NY. Her poetry chapbook, The Magic in the Streets was published by Owl Creek Press as first prize winner of their chapbook contest. She has received three Pushcart Prize nominations. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont, SUNY Binghamton and Vermont College. She teaches English at Norman Thomas High School in mid-town Manhattan. Please visit her website -- frangirl.com.


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