Months To Years Fall 2018 Months To Years Fall 2018 - Page 31

Aggressive By Susan Scutti Having abandoned her, the tumor slides beneath her door and crawls along the tile floor until it enters the catty-corner apartment where an even younger woman sleeps. Dreams flutter her eyelids, cause a muscle in her left leg to twitch: Once, twice, three times. Last year for five months her heart had filled with love, ballooned, a fully-inflated tire ready to begin a long journey. Then the puncture occurred: poof. No matter, she recovered and soon began a new job in a distant district of the city. There her personality, an organism not unlike an amoeba, expanded and neatly divided into two leaving her with a new Janus demeanor that evoked a feeling of satisfaction whenever she looked in the mirror. Whatever, she tells herself now as she travels underground on a rushing train, her breasts pressing into another woman’s arm. Days later a purposefully caffeinated technician, who prefers the darker Colombian blends to those from Africa, will perform the test revealing a lump. Today, the unopened window above the technician’s head displays a sunset made brilliant by harmful emissions. As he leaves for home, a tidy apartment containing three TVs, two computers, and one wife, his umbrella refuses to open. Again and again he presses the plastic button that normally makes the cheap thing unfurl; Who made this? he mutters as he walks through scattered rainfall. (Factory workers in a southern province of China.) While plummeting earthward, each separate raindrop becomes toxic, yet not nearly as lethal as the chemo endured by the younger woman in the catty- corner apartment who fell in love for five months last year. Susan Scutti is a reporter who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Her stories and poems have appeared in Tin House (online only, not print), 2 Bridges Review, New York Quarterly, Loose Change, Oxford Quarterly, The Christian Science Monitor, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, and other journals and anthologies.   37 31