Dead People Don’t Dream Hamburgers

We were already dead but didn’t know it. All three of us lost in the fucking woods. I twirled through the trees like a mama Frisbee, calling to Daria who hadn’t eaten, frantic as mother panic, as if she couldn’t feed her own pie hole. The trees shook like skeleton bones, and suddenly the vortex dropped me like Dorothy in front of Daria, pale and large-eyed, looking pleased she had worried me by disappearing. Handed her a yellow, paper-wrapped burger, and with disdain she spouted, “You could’ve done better,” as the assembly flopped in her loose arm. I turned to find you, Max, relaxed, smiling, and clueless as I that dead people don’t eat hamburgers. You laughed your dead laugh and said you’d teach her some manners. Then the wind snared me from ground, and in the whirling air that was me, I heard “gratitude,” over and over. Dead don’t eat, Max, but gratitude keeps on going. We all could do better, like she said, I guess.

While I was dreamed and dreaming, Daria walked in her sleep, scratching at your bedroom door, agitated and tearful as warbling pigeons dropped outside your windows.

Koss, a queer writer and artist, has been published in The Cincinnati Review, Hobart, Spillway, Spoon River Poetry Review (forthcoming), Exquisite Corpse, and many other journals. She also has work forthcoming in Best Small Fictions 2020 and her book, One for Sorrow, published by Negative Capability Press, is due out in early 2021. Find her on Twitter  (@Koss51209969), Instagram (@koss_singular), or her website at

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