by Cooper Renner

Why do I, neither woman nor gay man, wonder what kind of husband he makes? Do I have grounds for inadequacy?

The receptionist watches him walk away. I imagine her tatting his name into something for the radiator of her ancient apartment. It will be cream-colored, tense with energy. She wants him to pilot the journey, hunched forward in the motorcar. She will be his twelfth wife, her pale feet paler still in the chill waters of the Wiesesee.

This is the gift that age brings: even as the sirens' blue shift unsteadies her, her palms are tender as talc.