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South Florida

by Sheree Shatsky

Ocular Binoculars

My optometrist says I have fancy eyes. My retinas are fine-tuned for football. I’m a wired foreseer. A pigskin psychic. I watch the game play against my closed eyelids. The coin toss, the kickoff, the touchdowns, the final score. “Dolphins +4,” I tell my dad. He calls me his Rookie Bookie.



My mother searches her keepsake trunk for the special skirt she wore in high school. All the skirts she finds are plaid. She loved plaid then, she loves plaid now. Tartan. Gingham. Houndstooth. Prince of Wales check. A universal fabric, she says. Always in style. She wears mini skirts these days. Pucci plaid. Dad says she’s still got game. The pink felt circle skirt she finds wrapped in tissue paper. A poodle skirt. The puffy white dog appliqué sports a black collar plump with rhinestones. She tugs on the skirt and smooths the creases with soft hands. She looks in the mirror and swirls a twirl. I hear a pooch bark - once, twice.


Nuts and Bolts

We rah-rah in front of the sliding glass doors over at Melody’s house. Our reflections clap and bounce, jump herkies and eagles, pikes and double hooks. Our voices ring out synchronized pep. Melody sits in a lawn chair and critiques our moves. “Don’t sing it. Punch it!” she says. Melody can’t cheer anymore. Her right knee swells large. She pulls a jar of Vaseline from her bag and offers us a dip. We paste our front teeth with the clear jelly, a reminder to smile.



We lean into each other dumb happy cheap wine tipsy. Our gowns are fire, yours red sequined, mine beach sand vanilla. Humidity suits you, your hair sleek smooth Venezuelan; mine wild waves. You rock a top hat. Ray-Bans dangle my lips. The lenses catch the camera flash. A double full moon.


After Midnight

I don’t sleep, like my mother. We count steps instead of sheep; hers speedwalk the vacuum 12345678 one step ahead of morning, mine glide past the locker of my guy as he looks my way a 1 and a 2 and a 3 and a 4. We wake feet tangled tight in the sheets, mine flower power cotton, hers pastel patchwork percale. I find a rose on my pillow. My dad finds the vacuum, still running.

Sheree Shatsky writes wild words. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals and her novella in flash “Summer 1969” is forthcoming at Ad Hoc Fiction. Sheree calls Florida home and is a Tom Petty fan. Read more of her writing at and find her on Twitter @talktomememe.


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