by Amy Barnes

Left behind tea leaves leave autumn fortunes on my white laminate, starter home countertops, green-brown veined reminders of a failed family forest. The left-me-behind starter husband drinks espresso now, pour over coffee poured by a poreless “Best Wife” mug holder with a blonde roast please mug shot he keeps prisoner on his phone screen. There’s no yoga yodeler hippy, hippier because I’ve had his three children teacup lover next to him now, just his brand-spanked-by-him new, new face, new breasts lover in their not-starter second wife house. Stacks of aqua, mint chocolate chip, verdant, grass shirts green his walk-in, live-in closet, chosen by a woman with no tree rings or tree leaves to fortune read, a palm with no lived life line like mine. I read the tea-to-me messages, listen to them speak over honking school buses and trash trucks and sapling voices begging for breakfast. Each leaf fossil whispers one last time as I scrub them, him out of the kitchen.


Amy Barnes has words at a variety of sites including: FlashBack Fiction, Popshot Quarterly, Flash Fiction Magazine, X-Ray Lit, Stymie Lit, No Contact Mag, JMMW, The Molotov Cocktail, Lucent Dreaming, Lunate Fiction, Rejection Lit, Perhappened, Cabinet of Heed, Spartan Lit, and others. She is an Associate Editor at Fractured Lit and reads for CRAFT, Taco Bell Quarterly, Retreat West, NFFD, The MacGuffin, and Narratively. Her flash collection, "Mother Figures" is forthcoming in 2021.