By Iris N. Schwartz
Gone one week.
This was my neighborhood ─ but wasn’t. Sniffed sautéed emu. Spotted sparkling litter on swept streets.
Not my apartment building ─ though keys fit. Facade cleaner, neighbors thinner. Superintendent … chipper!
Crossed Broadway. Belgian pizzeria: crust panko crumbs, pommes frites; corners: nine-dollar lunch trucks.
In Quonset diner, sat silently. (New Yorkers talk? Nah.) Ordered ice cream. Don’t recall flavor. Waitress brought frozen parsnip yogurt, caramel, salt. Would flavor improve? (Nope.)
Check arrived ─ illegible. Waitress? Searched diner, attached accordion emporium. Couldn’t locate. Used debit card; procured five-dollar tip.
Too much trouble. Must move. From where I don’t know
how to live.
Bio: Iris N. Schwartz is a fiction and nonfiction writer, as well as a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. Her work has appeared in such journals as 101 Words, Algebra of Owls, Bindweed Magazine, The Flash Fiction Press, Guttural Magazine, Gyroscope Review, Jellyfish Review, Quail Bell Magazine, Pure Slush, The Tribe Journal, Use Your Words, and The Wild Word. Her first short-short story collection, My Secret Life with Chris Noth: And Other Stories, will be published by Poets Wear Prada in autumn 2017.