She led the boy to agree to a break-up while standing in line for a motion picture. Which one? She cannot recall. She remembers the boy, but in a dispassionate way, like a blouse she used to wear. She remembers his face. Its hope. Its fleshiness. Had they quarreled? The woman’s mind is drawn to the aftermath—how the two of them just kept waiting, as she recalls. How they paid and went in. Found seats, presumably. Again waiting: for the curtains to part, the reels to clatter and spin, and that first scrap of film, light-dark, illegible—like a howl, she wants to say.

Scott Garson is the author of American Gymnopédies. He edits Wigleaf and has stories in or coming from Hobart, Conjunctions, The Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, and others.