By Yash Seyedbagheri

My older sister Nan and I moved in together during lockdown.

We dragged out once-dormant nicknames. Toasted safety. Family.

Then we fought over shows.

Nan loved The Crown. She said the present called for understanding the past.

I just wanted The Dude, saying fuck it, abide, drifting.

We sparred over sanitizer. Divided the couch.

The space between gaped.

Nan even thought laughing spread the virus, Nan who once laughed, unabashed and gooselike.

After two months, we painted crack-ridden walls.

Brushes swishing, we smiled thin smiles. Told dirty jokes, shy, awkward, moved closer, swished harder.

We couldn’t cover everything. We really tried.

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA fiction program. His stories, “Soon” and “How To Be A Good Episcopalian,” have been nominated for Pushcarts. Yash’s work has been published in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Write City Magazine, and Ariel Chart, among others.

Art by Lesley C. Weston (Mixed Media)

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