Miles Klee & Madeline Gobbo 

 

There is a woman whose daughter is in possession of the most wonderful pair of tits known to man. We cannot look at it from the father’s perspective, for he is dead, and if he were not, he would have killed the daughter before her yielding and miraculous globes could ripen. The dowdiest sweaters the mother buys do nothing to dampen their bounty. Boys line up on the sidewalk at dawn for a view of them wrapped in a blue shower towel. Truthfully the mother is as proud of the tits as if she had sculpted them from living clay. At times they exude the gravity of small planets; at others they are playful and high-spirited, coquettish, droll.

Local news gets wind of the tits and powders them for a interview, soft-lit in the stale living room. “Where do your tits see themselves in five years?” is a question the goateed reporter puts forth. In the kitchen, the mother cooks a stew of black and noxious poisons that she’ll feed the goatee before it can ask her daughter’s tits out for a stroll along the marina. She remembers the girl’s father, the way he bit at her own as though they were chewing gum he wanted to stretch to the limits of elasticity, and snap.

Only the cameraman eats the stew, and the mother serves eight years. Each time the daughter visits prison, she talks rapidly of her latest success, but the mother knows none compare to the tits, even now bursting out of a blazer. The daughter does not understand what her mother wanted to save her from; her days are candy-colored and pure. Can it be that all bad men went extinct? The eyes are the tits of the face, the mother tells herself, and people have always admired her eyes—but you cannot ever hope to trust them, you cannot touch and stroke them like tits. And only eyes hide themselves away.  

By the day the mother earns parole, outside is fluffy and smooth and serene—like a couple of well-painted tits. She sits in the park across the street from her former house, watching the open window where her daughter clenches a pink small thing up against her prizes. The daughter winces; is it sucking too hard? The mother stands to approach the house with a fresh potion. At her age, she thinks, what she should have to kill is time. Her daughter adjusts the baby’s head very gently. It twists and smiles with satisfaction.

So the mother walks to a store in town to buy a lotto ticket, and it pays eighty grand after tax. With this windfall she gets her tits done. She meets a kind man, the first she has  known, no flint of violence in him to spark. He’d never ask if she’d had her breasts filleted and stuffed—would never think in such gory terms, her terms. He kisses them exactly right, she feels despite the nerve damage done. He kisses them and they aren’t fake, they aren’t armor, she isn’t cheating. In his eyes she sees a tremor of awe and gratitude.

 

Miles Klee is the author of the novel Ivyland and the story collection True False, both from OR Books, as well as an editor at web culture site The Daily Dot. He lives in Los Angeles. 

Madeline Gobbo is the store artist at The Booksmith in San Francisco. Her illustrations have appeared in Full Stop Quarterly, The Toast, Meridian, SparkLife, The Daily Dot, and elsewhere.