about the author

Janet Shell Anderson was nominated for the 2011 Pushcart Prize for Fiction and has been published by Vestal Review, Grey Sparrow and others. She writes flash fiction and is an attorney.

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Janet Shell Anderson

Silver and odd, a huge cloud appears. It walks like a man out of the ocean, gasps in Italian, tells me my first lover, Antonio Lovell Sposito, is drowned.

Drowned. Where is he drowned?

There in the ocean, the Straits of Bonafacio, the sea between Corsica and Santa Teresa di Gallura.

When he was a teenager Antonio robbed a dead body washed ashore on this beach. He was sorry afterwards.

Yesterday noon: On Antonio’s bed, sunlight striped on my slick, naked back, the street so close outside the window I could smell exhaust from the cars, “Giovanna, te amo.” JoAnna, I love you. He had to say that. I love him anyway.

Could my first lover drown? Could a cloud come and tell me? Three Sardinians on the beach have seen nothing. They chatter about the heat, put on sunscreen. A ship lines the horizon near Corsica.

I cross gray, sharp stones, plunge deep in salt waves.

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