by Kristin Kozlowski
Things That Keep Us Separated
Privacy fences. Cell phone screens. Flatulence.
Glassy eyes. Bigotry. Fear of the homeless. Fear of ourselves. The mirrors held up to us.
Shame. Our side of the story.
Disability. Race. Gender. Weight. Shitty jokes that weren’t funny then and aren’t funny now.
Wanting to help but not knowing how. Wanting to say something but not knowing what to say.
Needing to be right. Needing to prove that we’re right.
An inability to apologize. An inability to ask for help. The vain ability to just do it ourselves.
Pride. Resentment. Foolishness.
Things That Bring Us Together
Birthday parties. Weddings. Funerals. Our names side-by-side in an obituary.
Dog parks. Kitten videos.
Shared disease. Shared trauma. Shared drinks.
Slow dances. Work parties. Our favorite song coming on the car radio.
Memories. Nostalgia. Vacation photos.
Parades. High fives. Kind words. Kind deeds.
Book clubs. Fire pits. Stories. Laughter. Love.
Kristin Kozlowski lives and works in the Midwest, US. Some of her work is available online at Lost Balloon, matchbook, Longleaf Review, Pidgeonholes, Cease Cows, and others. Her piece, “Salty Owl”, will be included in The Best Small Fictions Anthology 2021. In 2019, she was awarded Editor’s Choice from Arkana for her CNF piece, “A Pocket of Air”. If you tweet: @kriskozlowski