Shattered Wig #28

Shattered Wig #28
Coming In November!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shattered Wig 28 Sneak Preview #12 - "Suburban Legends" by Shelley Puhak

Suburban Legends

The Girl Detective
would not wear these pants: missing button, gaping waistband and cuffs
creased wrong. She can see if you are wearing a slip, if you have shaved
your legs. She can figure out why your parents keep bursting into tears.

The International Spy
puts your paranoia to work. Teaches you the art of the extra pocket, the way to roll your “r”s. Teaches you to never trust your memory.

The Wicked Stepmother
is stuck in this hut, in this forest, with this kid clinging to her skirts. Pinches, pricks, presses, frowns. Plots to swallow you whole.

She is enamel, jagged and acid-etched, hanging on by a thread. You edge up behind her, thin and stiff with longing.

The Tall, Dark Handsome Stranger
has fists like kitchen strainers: the soapy kitchen mess, the tears, run right through. Has the intuition of a terrier, best at arms-length.

He won’t whisk you off. And if he leaned in for a kiss, you’d see he’s overbitten his bottom lip, trying to balance his checkbook.

The Football Captain
knows a bridge. An old bridge. A steel truss bridge on a road with a sharp crook. An old reform school. A wailing ghost. One moonless night, he drives you down that road, to his old make-out spot. Past the evidence of other campfires, new beer cans crushed. Listen. Wait— for his crow’s feet, emerging scalp, first creaking joint.

Listen. You’ll make out crying, pitched high and light.


Shelley Puhak lives in Catonsville, Maryland. Shelley's work first appeared in SWR ten years ago, while she was still in college. Now Shelley is Writer-in-Residence at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Her first collection, Stalin in Aruba (Black Lawrence Press, 2009) won the 2010 Towson University Prize for Literature.

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