The Considerable Laundry

Leave a comment

September 2, 2009 by The Citron Review

by Eric Steineger


“Don’t forget about the coyote,” he says.

The ice forming in tiny clusters inside the vehicle.
He makes the joke, “Breakfast in Bed.”  She laughs.
They lie lengthwise and grind each other for warmth.
Their legs jam like knuckles against the window, unable to extend.
She thinks of the unsexy:  prophylactics in the trunk, front page Christmas death,
a mother living back East.

They cannot see any fires in the distance.
Whether or not there is anybody.  If anybody brought cables.
They didn’t.  He has sacrificed a Thomas Guide for kindling.
His fingers still in the snow from digging out the fire pit.
They do know there is little chance of starting up again.
Headlights left too long.

Then he remembers laundry.
In the front seat under the dumb firewood.  Her socks.
The smell of eco friendly soap.  Her bluegreen pajama top avalanches the pile back.

Still howling by the iron grate.
Ready to rip into them if they venture outside, even to pee.
But they are layered now.  Smoky, colorblind, how wrong
to stalk from behind the cacti.  Desecrate the monument.

She wipes off the window.  Nothing is out here.
She takes off her socks and gives them to him.

This is his Christmas present.
A fracture of stars?


Eric Steineger was born in New York City in 1979. After having finished school at Appalachian State, he moved West to pursue the arts. Currently, he is working on his MFA from Antioch University in Poetry, enjoys running cross country and trying to carve a wine rack for his studio in off hours. It has been reported that he is the best storyteller in the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Snow on brush in desert

IMAGE CREDIT: Jill Katherine Chmelko. Protest Road, Winter. 2019.

🍋Our Tenth Anniversary


    Cheers to ten years of celebrating the short form.


🍋 Instagram

Winter will soon come to a close and everyone's crying! We trust Paul Beckman to reveal a trail through it all. Paul Beckman’s fourth short story collection is Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press), was a finalist for the 2019 Short Story Indie Book Awards. He was one of the winners of @bestsmallfictions 2016. He won the Editor’s Choice Award in 2016 from Fiction Southeast, and was in the #WigleafTop50. His stories have appeared in @jellyfishreviewig, @spelkfiction, @litromedia, @pankmagazine, Lost Balloon and many others. Paul curates the FBomb NY flash fiction reading series monthly at KGB Bar & @kgblitjournal. #amreading #flashfiction
Don't cry...or maybe do. A deeper look at our saltiest moments with Denton Loving's "The Topography of Tears." Denton Loving is the author of the poetry collection Crimes Against Birds and editor of Seeking Its Own Level, an Anthology of Writings about Water. His writing has recently appeared in @lunchwithironhorse, @kenyonreview, #ChattahoocheeReview and #TheThreepennyReview. #amreading #creativenonfiction
US President George Washington rode a horse, of course. So we are recognizing this President's birthday with our Winter Issue story, "The Farrier, by Lisa Tuininga. Lisa Tuininga writes fiction and creative nonfiction. She holds a BA in English Literature from DePaul University and has studied at Seattle’s literary center, @hugohouse. Her work has appeared in @belletristmagazine , Adanna Literary Journal, @sharkreeflit, and others (under pen name Lisa Regen) and she is working on her first novel. #amreading #amsubmitting
Whether you celebrate V-Day or you're anti-V-Day, we all have laundry to do. Kris Willcox's work is in publications including The Cimarron Review​, @beloitfictionjournal , and @PDXReview. #amreading #flashfiction #litmag
Dive deep into some #flashfiction with @elpattee. Emma Pattee’s writing has been published in @nytimes and @carvecommunity and is forthcoming in @marieclairemag. She was a 2019 AWP Writer-to-Writer mentee and leads the Portland chapter of Women Who Submit. She is currently working on a novel.
We review the debut Cathy Ulrich collection Ghosts of You (@okaydonkeymag) We're over the moon with ZEST. #amreading #flashfiction

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: