Fiction · 04/25/2018

I Wish I Could Put the Title at the End (Cousins)

Kiss: lightning striking the same tree twice, almost accidental.

The sky: grey as the gravel of your dad’s driveway.

Me: desperate as ripping a parachute open, thinking about you, thinking about you thinking about me, thinking about the curve of your spine, about the sesame seed splatter of freckles on your nose, about the dinosaur purple of your fingernails and how they might look digging into my thighs, about what color panties you have on and whether or not it’s giving you a wedgie, about how deeply your eyes can bore into my body without breaking the skin, about your eyelashes and every snowflake that has ever died on them.

The train: heartbeat fast, tornado loud.

You: that afternoon, walking to the station when you said, “I wish I was in different jeans, maybe the black ones that don’t show dirt.”

The ground: cold enough for snow.


MJ McGinn grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and received his MFA from Adelphi University. His work has previously been named to the Wigleaf’s 50 Best Very Short Stories of 2017 and appeared in the Guernica/PEN Flash Series, Village of Crickets, Tiferet Online Journal, and PEN America.