Mother’s Boyfriend

Mother’s boyfriend has a twist in his lips, a burp in his eyes. He prefers everything cherry, thinks he knows the moon better than the astronauts. If there is leftover pie, he will use it Jackson Pollock style on the bedroom walls, creating constellations made of curd or meringue, the crusts stuck there like door handles that won’t open.

Mother’s boyfriend has wit and moxie. Says the bees are making a comeback. He keeps a mouthful to prove it. Wasps are a different matter altogether, so I never ask.

My sister is a hero, but she isn’t a fan of weather. She says the clouds are untrustworthy, the moon a snitch, which is part of the reason Mother’s boyfriend drove her to a building that is not in this town.

If I hold my breath long enough while they watch American Idol, Mother’s boyfriend will toss me kernels of popcorn like I am a seal at Sea World. Stuff like that is entertaining. So is testifying about the brevity of of. Anyway, that’s what Mother’s boyfriend believes.

Lately I am thinking about old babies and dandelion seeds, how Mother’s boyfriend has a tattoo of mother’s old boyfriend. Yep. It sits under his chin where his jaw is hardest. When he’s on top, it’s easy to see how much the boyfriends resemble each other. The claws. The fangs. The sheen of something remarkable and unproven hurting their eyes.

Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State and the author of four books, most recently the story collection, This is Why I Need You, out now from Ravenna Press. You can find more of his writing at

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