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The Short Form

“The City in the Light of Moths”

Tim Horvath


“Wow,” she said. “Play it again, Wes.” 

After he did, she pulled up her own shirt to reveal hers, not animation but black and white on the center of her back, her family’s farm somewhere off in the country done as a home movie, retrochromed to look older than it was, her grandfather holding up a fish, languorous cattle in a field. It was tasteful, and the bump of her spine, jutting in the middle and stretching the screen in odd places, only added to the charm. It made his feel like an amateur sketch. Everyone had heard the stories about tattoos jarred into motion in the act of lovemaking, the lover helpless to turn them off, and he wanted this, now, to be the case for them, and, reaching out to caress the bump, could see her tattoo refract onto his fingers, felt himself connect to her then, something that could still happen, then.

We read it in Understories.

Originally published in Conjunctions:55 Urban Arias.

Story available for free online.