Fall 2014 • Vol. XXXVI No. 4 2014 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Prize |

Previously, Sparrows

2014 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest Winner   After every argument, we make a shopping list. Eggs, soy milk, cucumbers, rye. Cookie dough, salmon pinwheels, vegan cheese (she's lactose intolerant). Dollar Store DVDs, packs of socks. Maybe, previously, we were sparrows. They build nests out of anything, even cigarette butts. If we wanted a child, I imagine it would breach as a bird, gloopy and feathered, talkative without words. No one imagines birds that way. Tonight, my punishment is a packet of chicken cutlets. The flesh is pearlescent, more glamorous than skin—expensive looking. I buy four pounds. A girl presses her face against the lobster tank next to me, her breath blurring their swimmerets. "They're fighting!" she shouts to her mother. "I hope the little one wins." Her mom is comparing seltzer water brands, holding them higher and higher to the light, discerning the water quality—the mingling of fizzing particles. She picks Orange Vanilla Polar and se

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Amy Victoria Blakemore is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, where she received an Academy of American Poetry Prize. Her writing appears in Susquehanna Review and Cleaver Magazine. She currently works in Boston, Massachusetts.

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