“Burnout,” by Kellie Karbach
I plunged a spoonful of oatmeal into my mouth with one hand and cupped my hipbone with the other.
Prior to, my mother locked her hands around my arms. Her middle finger and thumb met with a keratin click. She sighed. I promised not to fall backwards.
Prior to, I towed my body down two miles of asphalt to the apartment stairwell.
Prior to, at mile eight, my left knee surrendered with a snap. A red Toyota swerved onto the leafy median with a rubber yelp.
Prior to, I imagined solar liposuction, melting adipose, how it’d smell like burnt oil, maybe sweeter, maybe more sour, if it’d dissolve my inner thighs first, or the pouch in my lower belly. I adjusted the mile goal on my app from eight to ten.
Prior to, the number 115 flashed scarlet on the screen. I glued a new piece of Velcro to my armband but it still slid to my elbow.
Prior to, I triple-knotted my shoes. The sun and the neighborhood and my mother hid their eyes under warm blankets.
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