Pillow Talk

Mary-Anne Nelligan


On Wednesday, I gutted a fish and her pearls tumbled out onto the dock. I think, I’d have you drowned and swept with the pile of dead things that are forgotten into the dark place between the refrigerator and the pale blue counter.

Of course, I would sweep you into my arms, drink down whatever filled your lungs, and recapture the mouth that sent me shivering in the middle of July, your favorite month.

And my knife on the dock is the same as these things we say and hide in back of our throats.




Living in Salt

Mary-Anne Nelligan


My hands are dying and when I see you they fidget like a hooked fish thrown back into the sea. My hands are buoys tied only to water like drifting litter, sticking to any moving propeller.

There’s a lack of weight or a lack of the wave of your hands crashing into mine that leads them flailing at my sides.

When a stranger in a pink tutu kissed me in another stranger’s bathroom, my hands went limp because all of

my thoughts of you sunk into the tips of my fingers that were foamy with soap. So my hands stayed limp at my sides and bled soap onto the tile because they don’t work like they used to.

And now, when I see you in a sea of strangers my hands twitch and flail at my sides because we swapped holding hands for shaking and the tips of my fingers are left frozen and shaking.



Mary-Anne Nelligan is a fiction writer, teacher, and an avid fan of science fiction novels and films. She has a Master’s in Professional Writing from Towson University.

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