Why We Are No Longer Friends

Jupiter is not in the right conjunction

with the North Star.


Our addresses were lost in the mail.


The robins are flying south. A good time

to hitch a ride.


We are really friends

but just can’t read the clues.


We were never friends. One of us

was deluded.


People are starving everywhere.

This is no time to think about love.


We have not seen each other for five years.

The statute of limitations

has gone into effect.


We both know why we are not friends,

and we have taken the 5th amendment.


We thought a pen pal friendship

would do wonders for our writing ability.


We are cautious.

Like sentence fragments.


Ulysses went on a long vacation.

Why not you?


We Go To TV Land

Matt, the salesclerk, has no patience

for anyone over thirty.

He tries to tell us that we don’t need

cable anymore, that Hulu and Netflix

will do us just fine, not that he’s

involved in selling them.  He’s just sayin’.

Do we want our TV smart?

My husband and I glance at each other.

We’re pretty sure we don’t want it dumb.

Do we want our TV thin, or do we want it thin?

He assumes this TV we’re interested in

is for a bedroom or a kitchen.

He can’t imagine any other destination for

a screen under forty inches.

Naturally, there’s some assembly involved.

After paying all the money, it won’t

stand upright without the use of a screwdriver.

The only good out of this deal, my husband

says, is that this thing weighs next to nothing.

We reminisce about the bad old days

when TVs weighed eighty pounds, as we

set the ten pound, slimline-LED-LCD-HD TV

on the floor and begin teaching it to stand by itself.

© Mike Kravolich

Copyright © 2016, Otis Nebula Press. All rights reserved.


A story by Karen Loeb won a 2014 Editor’s Choice award in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest. Another story won first place in the 2014 Wisconsin People and Ideas Fiction Contest.  Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Hanging Loose, Thema, Otis Nebula, The Main Street Rag, New Ohio Review, and other magazines. A poem is forthcoming in The Cape Rock.