Sept/Oct 2015 • Vol. XXXVII No. 5 Fiction |

The Sacred Gifts of Cows and Cheetahs

1 In the space of one week I become a we. I make love to my Austinite atop a graveyard of barbecue ribs after a family gathering at his ranch that makes me nostalgic for my own parents, who together inhabit the urn on my fireplace mantel in Houston. My Austinite lover impregnates my first womb. Later in the week, driven by my hunger for the familiar, I reunite with my estranged husband—a first-generation Indian American—who impregnates a second uterus I am not aware I possess. Nine months later, if all goes well, I will give birth to a drawl-stricken Indian slash Austinite named Fraud and a tiny Indian girl named Maude. They are the fruits of my whoredom, a confusion I cannot name. I am not the kind to make love to two men in a lifetime, much less a week. It happened because I scarfed down maple-glazed BBQ at my Austinite boyfriend Freud's family reunion and found myself still hungry, because his brown eyes had the same lazy, seductive drawl as his voice, and because after

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Keya Mitra is currently an assistant professor of creative writing and literature at Pacific University and graduated in 2010 with a doctorate from the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, where she also earned her MFA. In 2008, she spent a year in India on a Fulbright grant in creative writing. Her fiction is forthcoming in Southwest Review, Arts and Letters, Slush Pile, Best New American Voices, Ontario Review, Orchid, Event, Fourteen Hills, Torpedo, and Confrontation. She has completed a novel (under representation), short-story collection, and book-length memoir.

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