Karen Lillis

In that household

cats were women’s

business, headaches

were mysterious feminine

ailments. The doctor-father

wouldn’t treat them, citing

that western medicine hadn’t

yet come up with anything useful,

and if Advil wasn’t working then the old girl

would just have to ride it out. Mother kept a litter

box in the utility room, almost secretly,

lest the kittens have to sleep outside

in winter, and nearby stood the washer,

the dryer, the rack of parkas and snowsuits,

and the weight machine that turned the brothers

from supple, crying boys to burly-shouldered

athletes: heroes of the court and field.

Karen Lillis is a writer currently based in Astoria, New York. Her work has appeared in Long Shot and The Southern Review, among other publications. She has read her work in New York City, across America, and in Paris.

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