SmokeLong Quarterly
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by Myfanwy Collins

art by Robinson Accola
art by Robinson Accola
This was the guy who quoted Pygmalion, as if I were his diamond in the rough. And this was the guy who stood in the driveway, a real Gatsby, and spread out his arms and said, "This is my house," as if I were made holy there.

But his friend (the one renting the little house from him—the front house, the small house, the house that was once a post office where I had collected my mail on summer mornings, the box key shiny from the many fingers before mine, the postmaster in visor, waiting for the guests to arrive, the sun shallow across the lake) found him five days too late. And so he died. But I carried his mark.

It was in this smaller of the two houses, with bead-board walls and those plastic curtains for doors, where it happened. It was in the house with Hank Williams on the turntable. It was in that house where he brought me behind the curtain and said my hair reminded him of riding in a boat before the thunder, when the static brings it all alive, forms a halo.

Then his dry lips anointed my forehead.

It would have been around now that he went into that other, bigger house—the back house, the veranda house, the death house—with a bottle, a coyote denning up somewhere. Pawing the ground in a circle, waiting for winter to end, curling around himself and looking up at the pockmarked sky, seeing the two of us on a boat near the island where blueberries grow and knowing how my hand would fit into his, silk on silk. And how, with the form of his lips a stigmata upon me, his eyes would shine down as I waited, away, far away, for sleep, gentle, gentle, for sleep.

"Anointed" was first published in Vestal Review. It appears here by permission of the author.

All content in SmokeLong Quarterly copyright 2003-2014 by its authors.

Myfanwy Collins's work is published or forthcoming in: The Kenyon Review , Cream City Review, AGNI, Swivel, Monkeybicycle, Saranac Review, Quick Fiction, Mississippi Review, The Jabberwock Review, FRiGG, Caketrain, and other venues. Please visit her at:

Read the interview.

Robinson Accola creates artwork for SmokeLong as needed.
Issue Twenty-One (June 15, 2008): Paper Mouse by Bob Arter «» The Folk Singer Dreams of Time Machines by Matt Bell «» The Bone Orchard by Randall Brown «» Disease Relics by Blake Butler «» We Decided to Make Porn by Brian Allen Carr «» The Baby Drop-Off by Natascia Casey-Dean «» The Cougar by Dave Clapper «» Anointed by Myfanwy Collins «» Sister Earth by John Colvin «» Soap by Katrina Denza «» The Interpretation of Light by Murray Dunlap «» The Hole by Ashley Farmer «» Repair Man by Kathy Fish «» In the Kitchen She Wakes by Stefanie Freele «» American Gothic by Scott Garson «» Lobster Girl by Alicia Gifford «» Pen and Notebook by Natalie Goldberg «» Memento Mori by Rosanne Griffeth «» BiC by Steven Gullion «» Parting by Evelyn Hampton «» Tuesday by Lindsay Hunter «» Waiting on Lombard Street by W.P. Kinsella «» Johnny by Nance Knauer «» Like Swimming by Jeff Landon «» Feeling Sad by Darby Larson «» Alone With Cooper by Ellen Meister «» The Angel's Visitation by Corey Mesler «» South Dakota by Mary Miller «» California Fruit by Meg Pokrass «» Home Made by Bruce Holland Rogers «» Handful of Dirt by Jim Ruland «» Steam City Girl by Paul Silverman «» Sugar by Claudia Smith «» The 13th Toast by Amy Sparks «» Gathering by Kelly Spitzer «» Tiny Shadows by Maryanne Stahl «» Double-Exposure by Thomas White «» Epistemology by Joseph Young «» Why This Isn't a Good Story to Tell by Shellie Zacharia «» Liquid by Michelle Zellers «» Real Estate by Bonnie ZoBell «» Interviews: Bob Arter «» Matt Bell «» Randall Brown «» Blake Butler «» Brian Allen Carr «» Natascia Casey-Dean «» Dave Clapper «» Myfanwy Collins «» John Colvin «» Katrina Denza «» Murray Dunlap «» Ashley Farmer «» Kathy Fish «» Stefanie Freele «» Scott Garson «» Alicia Gifford «» Rosanne Griffeth «» Steven Gullion «» Evelyn Hampton «» Lindsay Hunter «» Nance Knauer «» Jeff Landon «» Darby Larson «» Ellen Meister «» Corey Mesler «» Mary Miller «» Meg Pokrass «» Bruce Holland Rogers «» Jim Ruland «» Paul Silverman «» Claudia Smith «» Amy Sparks «» Kelly Spitzer «» Maryanne Stahl «» Thomas White «» Joseph Young «» Shellie Zacharia «» Michelle Zellers «» Bonnie ZoBell «» Cover Art "Five Years of SmokeLong" compiled from art by Marty D. Ison, Robert Dornberg, Malina, and Rebecca Gullickson «» Letter From the Editor
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