Bland and safe, I was finally able to cry.

Today's Story


The Siphon

By Jane Banning

Pointless to even try to talk to him. He’d just siphon off more of my energy, my selfhood, my being. Volatile as gasoline itself, but with a bulky, blocky body so different from any other lover’s, I was drawn to him inexplicably, as if some fume propelled me by my nostrils, or more likely, genitals. Never sure if we’d inflame or pacify one another, we pirouetted and stomped, feet heavy and gritty on each other’s feelings, and never once could I count on an evening or a morning to end predictably.

Soul heavy as water, I married him, seeking with those vows — and never finding — the balance between ice and vapor. I slid in and out of the dregs. So did he.

Only after I moved out, all my possessions jumbled and clanging in the rental truck, did I finally find the quiet hands that were mine all along. The hands that no longer doused flames with dangerous and incandescent fuel. Bland and safe, then, I was finally able to cry and cry I did, tears stinging like some sad chemical.


Jane Banning lives in Oregon, Wisconsin with her husband and son.  She has received honorable mentions in the 2008 Micro Fiction Contest and the 2009 Glass Woman Prize Contest.  Her work has appeared in the University of Iowa Daily Palette, Six Sentences, Long Story Short, Boston Literary Magazine, Lyrical Passion Poetry and 52250 Flash. 

Read more stories by Jane Banning


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