INsects (Anna Spargo-Ryan)

On  windy  days  she  went back to the building to find the
shreds of skin he had left there. She caught the elevator to the top  floor.  It  swagged  in  the  bluster, north to south
with the crosswind,  and  so did she. Sometimes the room
was  packed  with  people,  an  ant  colony  contained in  a
plastic  box , but  not  today.  She  searched  for  his  DNA,
embedded there,  picked  up  on  the  soles  of   shoes  and
deposited, later, in an empty apartment. Her  heart  filled
with  insects  and  they  clawed  at  her  sternum  and  her
coronary  plexus  and  her  left  vagus  nerve, all  legs  and
wings,  their   piercing   soprano   voices.   She  found  the
pieces in corners  and  edges  and  dropped them into her
pockets,  exited into the sunlight as a thief  and  her heart
cracked  out  across  the  lawn,  a  mosquito  zapper.   The
people ate packed  lunches and watched her go with their
jellied eyes.

annaspargoryan_headshotsmAnna Spargo-Ryan is the Melbourne-based author of The Paper House. Her short fiction has been published in Kill Your Darlings, and she also writes on parenting and mental health for the GuardianOverland and Daily Life, among other publications.