She touches your fingers across the table. Talks about her art, the way the brush veils the canvas, how paint clings to the heels of her hands, the chiaroscuro figures of women at work, children at the border. The waiter brings oysters on the half-shell, plates of veal glazed with butter and mustard, a raspberry torte to share. A young man plays contrapuntal notes on a cello, Bach’s Suite in D Minor. She says, the sea. She says, the Palamora Motor Court. She says, soon.

You smooth a curl from her brow. Outside, the harvest moon sags over tree tops. Her face gleams amber. Across town, your husband dozes in your bed, one ear cocked for the children.


Kathryn Milam lives in North Carolina. Her most recent stories have appeared in Appalachian Heritage Magazine, Lunate Fiction, and Flash Fiction Magazine. She’s the founder of Readings on Roslyn, a literary salon that has hosted forty writers and more than 3000 readers in her home. Her MFA is from Bennington College. Follow her on Twitter @MilamKathryn.