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by Sheldon Lee Compton

Take this — the cheese grater and the blueberry candle. Take the shower curtain and the bathmat shaped like a surfboard. Leave me one shirt, my pants, socks and the boots. I’ll wear his boxers like razors across my ass.

Take these — the time we entered the room and said aloud to anyone who would listen, “Happiness!” I wasn’t happy. Take the first three times we made love and my heart breaking for the people I’d wronged to be with you. Take the regret and you on the toilet with your elbows on your knees saying, “I can’t do this anymore.”

Take him — the poor bastard losing his self-respect for you. Take him to the edge of sanity and say, “Happiness!” Say it like you mean it and listen to the sound of his voice, deep in his throat. That’s a sound that says, “What comes around.”

Sheldon Lee Compton is the author of three books, most recently the novel Brown Bottle (Bottom Dog Press, 2016). His stories can be found in WhiskeyPaper, decomP, New World Writing, PANK, Monkeybicycle, DOGZPLOT, and elsewhere. He was cited in Best Small Fictions 2015 and Best Small Fictions 2016. Author website: sheldonleecompton.wordpress.com.