The Black Bikini by Ron Burch

"Old and Forgotten" by Rachel Kertz
“Old and Forgotten” by Rachel Kertz
You have started dying the gray that comes in, the dyed blond that is really not your color. I can tell, even from here. You go to the gym, you tell me, every morning, to do your workout so you can stay slim and inviting.  And then you sink into the sun around the pool until you are the tan color of warm pottery.  And who comes to visit you? The middle-aged drug dealer from 107 who promises you some good stuff if you’d just come back to his place with him. The teen wannabe writer from 203, his gaunt, pale body a monstrous contrast to you, his alt band t-shirt bright and shiny, still crisp from the show he was at last night, trying to impress you with the song list he remembers.
You are still fighting for it, fight on, girl, fight on.
The temperature is 97 right now. The pool looks like a fryer for French fries, yet you still linger around it. You lie on your stomach, long freckled legs splayed across your towel like a sleeping person who doesn’t want to wake. Even in my apartment, the small black fan whirling at full capacity, trying to dry the runny sweat off my body, it is hot and muggy.
Humidity sits like a wet monkey on my face.
I bring you down a cold beer and press it against your back, the straps of your top hanging down limply like melted cloth in this heat. You don’t move, yet you say, That feels good. What the fuck is it? A beer for you, I reply. Thanks, you say, sitting up, your tits hanging free as if you don’t care who sees them. You take the beer and have a lovely sip, your neck long and thin, your dyed hair a frame, as you lean over and place the beer on the cement and cover up your breasts. That’s good, you say. I have more upstairs. Right, you say suspiciously. Stay down here, I reply. It’s your choice. I was just saying. You can stay out here if you want. I was just saying if you want to cool off and have another, I have more beer inside. Nothing else. I’ve heard that before, you say. Shit, I reply, that was a long time ago. Yep, you reply, lying back down, shielding your eyes with your hand even though you have on cheap white sunglasses. Okay, I say, getting up. I’ll talk to you later. Okay, you reply.
As I reach the rusted gate, I turn. You know, I say, none of the guys who live here are worth a shit. You know that, right? I know that, you reply, but you just never know who might save you. I nod and head out, the pool gate clanging behind me, as I head upstairs to drink even more because there is no one here who could ever, ever save me.

ISSUE 1.1                                                                                                                                                                                          NEXT

ron burch
Ron Burch

Ron Burch’s fiction has been published in numerous literary journals including Mississippi Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, Eleven Eleven, [PANK], and has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. Bliss Inc., his debut novel, was published by BlazeVOX Books. He lives in Los Angeles. Please visit:

Read Bliss, Inc.
Read Bliss, Inc.


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