What We Talk About When We’re Talking

By Yash Seyedbagheri
You, Dad, and older sister Nancy talk at dinner. Three of you, four chairs.
The fourth chair gapes, cold, elegant.
You speak of John F. Kennedy, weather, Paul Newman movies, Richard Yates novels.
Instead of love, you talk of plots. Tension. You don’t speak of people incapable of love, people who couldn’t pretend; you speak of the Kennedys’ smiles.
Some nights, you move the fourth chair an inch. Another.
You wait for Dad to yell, Nancy to call you a slob.
Dad jokes about Nixon sweating. Nancy offers to take you to the movies.
You laugh.
You forgot how to cry.
* * *
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His story, “Soon,” was nominated for a Pushcart. Yash has also had work nominated for Best of the Net and The Best Small Fictions. A native of Idaho, Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others. 

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