Your chapstick, cash for tolls, the parking lot slip, a pack of Trident, car keys, a bouquet of daisies, a card, your best friend’s birthday, reservations, the restaurant he likes, his wife’s name, the conversation, a light tone, a glass of water when you order another cocktail, half my fries, the cup of coffee you refuse, a pleasant tone, the waiter’s eye, a smile that says “don’t worry, everything’s fine here,” another water, napkins to wipe the drink you spilled, your arm just above your fist, conciliatory words, petals from the flowers you smashed, an apologetic tone with the manager, our jackets, the passenger side door, your accusations, your tears, a pack of Kleenex, a pack of gum, your chapstick, my breath.


Kayleigh Shoen’s stories have appeared in [100-Word Story], Crack the Spine, Green Briar Review and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Emerson College and teaches writing in the Boston area. You can find her tweets about dogs, writing and TV at @whowantssoup or sign up for her newsletter at


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