Stuart Ross

A true love story never ends. A one-airport hotel. Tactics in Pollock, Innovation in Cassatt. Her brilliant green dress. His tie on, his tie off. The arrangements which afford her lifestyle. Room 711 until 12:15. “Be my human Shazam.” We’re coming back here last night.

Three months later he sees in her an exquisite innocence. A deck of tarot cards. She performs as her mother in society, herself when they’re alone. The passage in Glass. His family company takes a contract for a superchurch downstate. Small acts of charity on the road. Room 103 until 10:45. He abandons her at a trendy-themed bakery on the outskirts of a revitalized downtown. “Forever we are cupcakes.”

They do not see each other for six months. He sits by the windowsill wishing he could replace himself with a cat. She runs hot water over a burn from a flame which seemed further away.

Disappointment at a fish restaurant. A discussion of drawers. His father takes saw palmetto extract. Intelligence is located in the bowels. Pleasure’s phantom arm. Snowdrifts blanket golf course sand dunes. Her mother dies. How that which is absent can still be lost.

The reason why life seems to slow down only when it speeds up. She wears pearls in whirlpools. More on the arrangements which afford her lifestyle. She learns to say “I can take care of myself” in the language where her passport was last stamped. The so-called temple of Romulus. The d’Orsay images of prostitution. A discussion of 4’33”. The corridors between nation states and the open waters of harmony.

Breakouts in Caillebotte 1 & Caillebotte 2. A debt with unusual covenants plagues his family’s company. The staircase where she had a major accident is destroyed in a fire. Why infected bone cannot be cleaned. The Reich tarantella. She sleeps in the attic, the rest of the house empty. His mother dies while listening to a tragic symphony. Le petit hoquet de la mort.

They see each other again. She has a new haircut and coat but the same feelings. Why there are animal hairs on her slacks even though she owns no pets. The night sweats. The brothels near Raekwon. “On second thought, you do smell like chlorine.”

Why around page 50 all books stop being new to anyone. The word “duped” doesn’t sound negative. Other words like this.

The following spring. How disappointment is like a viola. She learns to say “I can take care of myself” in Farsi. She lands in Tiburon for the last weekend with her father. Flying his body home. The cost of our fuels.

More on the texture of music. She leaves the attic the hard way. The tabby sits on his windowsill. “Feline TV.” He meets a young Christian woman on a turquoise beach.


Stuart Ross is a writer living in Chicago.