Every Place Is a Body

When I knock on my boyfriend’s door in the middle of the night and tell him I’m leaving him for Lansing he mumbles something about how I’m moving to the center of the hand. His breath reeks of whiskey and sleep and I don’t understand what he means. It’s three weeks there before the cashier at the D&W asks me if I’m new in town. She’s scrawny and blonde and barely seventeen. When I say yes she tells me she recently moved from Saugatuck to get away before she turned into her mother. I repeat it quietly to myself, Saugatuck, and feel the syllables in my mouth like hard candy. When I ask her where that is she turns the palm of her right hand towards me and points to the middle. “We are here,” she says then drags her finger lightly across her palm to the edge farthest from her thumb as if she’s skimming it across water “and Saugatuck is here.” Every place is a body, I tell myself. California is a leg in motion. Wisconsin and Illinois, two lungs twisted sideways. New Jersey lips. Arizona the inside of your mouth. North Carolina your lover’s back. Texas a heart ripped open. And I realize then, walking to my car in that mid-west parking lot in the middle of the hand, that no matter where I go I won’t get out from under it.


This story appeared in Issue 4.2. Pick up your copy today.

Adeena Reitberger was born in Baltimore, MD and grew up on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. She received her MFA from Western Michigan University and currently teaches at Austin Community College. She has a story published in Nimrod International Journal and writes a weekly “Best of the Web” column for American Short Fiction.