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August 2, 2023

Bedtime Story

Josh Lefkowitz

A sinister mouse (moustache birthmark) lies on your pillow in the middle of the night. He reads to you from an edible journal (radish manuscript). The stories are ones you’ve lived before, back in teenage youth. Gangly limbs. Awkward longing. Braces the color of a favorite sports team. Hours on the telephone, wrapping and unwrapping the coiled cord around your body. Maybe if I win at state, maybe then. But no: the friends-to-more-than-friends highway was always closed for repairs. You listen until the mouse turns/reads/eats the final page. “Yes, well, I was younger then,” you say, “and still figuring it out. I’m not ashamed of that.” The sinister mouse says nothing. His moustache birthmark twitches in the dark.