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by Nina Shevzov-Zebrun

I see her and she sees me. I see her and we see each other. Other people in the car are ants, roaches, dumb-luck niblets. I tramp them easy on my way to her lap. 

Her hair is green, green like grass listening for frost. I could drink that hair, wind it around my nose, squeeze and thrust lemon air through my cobblestone lungs. Her teeth are purple, ivory reckless with lipstick. I could lick those teeth, bleach them, grind them with salt. Green and purple. Barney the Dinosaur. Barney with the drugs under his tail—we all know that story, how it cut the magic of childhood. 

When I sit on her hips, she roars. Not like a lioness or demon—more ghostly, an invisible roar. Other people in the car keep roaching, scurrying, feeding their queens as if this Green-Purple Queen, this GPQ, were a dream. My idea and my reality. I roar back, and together we strain our necks to howl. The moon is above earth above us but still I see it shudder, 9-1-1 the sun so they too may howl as one—into that blackness outside dimension. The universe is growing—we’re expanding into nothing. We eat and read and pretend we understand vastness while we literally become nothing. 

After days the train stops at Times Square. That’s where I leave my GPQ. Or she leaves me. She drops into pearls, a splash of marbles across the car, wailing Amazing Grace. Amazing indeed—that we imagine souls into existence. They’re lemons weighting our necks, anchors prone to floating.

About the Author

Nina Shevzov-Zebrun is a medical student pretending to be a writer. A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, she lives at the intersection of medicine and art. She also lives in NYC, and has fiction in Maudlin House, The Zodiac Review (forthcoming), and others.

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