by Brenna Womer

when i was
a little girl,
i had a friend
named paige;
she was
the first time
i realized
a common
noun could
also be a
proper one.

i went home
with paige
and her mother
after school
once, and in
the car she
said her parents
were getting
a divorce.

in her room,
i asked if she
wanted to play
husband and
wife; she said
yes, and we
wedged our
small bodies
beneath the
behind the
skirt and
each other’s
pubic bones
through cotton

when we’d
finished and
crawled into
the daylight,
i told paige
that her father
didn’t love
her anymore,
that she was
the reason
her parents
were getting
a divorce.

she cried
and told
her mother,
who got angry
and said it
was time for
me to leave;
on the drive
to my house,
just paige’s
mother and
me, she asked
why i’d say
such a thing;
i’d never
even met
paige’s father.

i remember
not knowing why
but feeling
so satisfied.

Brenna Womer is an experimental prose writer, poet, and professor. She is the author of honeypot (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019) and two chapbooks, and her work has appeared in North American ReviewIndiana ReviewDIAGRAMThe Pinch, and elsewhere. She is the editor of Shenandoah and a contributing editor for Story Magazine.