On Poetry and Culture Shock

Six months later (a microstory)

The micro-short story is a very demanding genre. A microstory should not seem a chunk from a bigger thing. It should not have a “suspense end” as if it was missing one sentence. It is acceptable to begin as if something was missing from the beginning of the story, but ideally, the beginning should not be abrupt. When I wrote prose fiction, I wrote little vignettes to work on interesting sentences that I couldn’t weave into proper stories, but I never tried to compose real microstories back then. This is my second one. According to my own rules, it’s not very good; ¿do you think it needs a couple of sentences in the beginning to explain “This man and woman had an affair and then broke up”?

It is dedicated to a friend of mine, who often writes about infidelity, absence, and break-ups. I think he’d rather stay anonymous, but he knows who he is.

Six months later, he said “I wrote a poem about you, back then”.
She answered, “oh, that’s alright. I also write about people I know”.
It was exactly then that he decided that what he felt for her was not tenderness for an old lover, but despise. What a relief.

Seis meses más tarde, él le dijo: “Escribí un poema sobre ti, aquellos días.”
Ella contestó: “Ya, yo también escribo sobre gente que conozco”.
Fue justo entonces cuando él decidió que lo que sentía por ella no era ternura por una antigua amante, sino desprecio. Qué alivio.

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