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(a finalist for the Aura Estrada Short Story Contest)

1. IN A LARGE BOWL, stir two cups of flour, one cup warm water, salt and sugar to taste. Add a spoonful of oil. Knead to a thick consistency. Knead slowly, feel the elasticity of the dough pull at your shoulders, down your spine, to your thighs. Your pale thighs spotted with blue-black patches of hurt. Wonder how it is that he hit you only in hidden places: above your knees, around your belly, under your armpits. Know, as you know night from day, that he spent all day every day thinking up new ways to torture you.

Show them to your friend, over breakfast: your skin in different shades of broken, your hair falling in sad chunks off your dry scalp, your numb heart. Hike your skirt up in the middle of her kitchen, with one foot up on a chair, the other on the cold tiled floor. Tell a story to go with each scar. The dark blue one near your crotch is for when he couldn’t find his tie, the brown one that looks like a tiger stripe is from the day his soup was too hot. The yellow one that looks like a hand hugging your breast …

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Boston Review - Allies (Fall 2019)
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About Boston Review

Allies is the first publication of Boston Review's newly inaugurated Arts in Society department. A radical revisioning of the magazine's poetry and fiction, the department unites them—along with cultural criticism and belles lettres—under a project that explores how the arts can speak directly to the most pressing political and civic concerns of our age, from growing inequality to racial and gender regimes, a disempowered electorate, and a collapsing natural world.