Cover Photo: photo by Finn Gross Maurer/unsplash
photo by Finn Gross Maurer/unsplash

Can You See Me?

Once you know the details of your lover’s past, what’s going to keep that past unreal? The present is our land to guard, and the past is a force that tries to cross the border.

To explain who I think my ex-girlfriend is bedding, I need to talk about a sitcom. The writing on the show was good. It was one of those sitcoms without a laugh track, so you had to figure out on your own what was funny. For a while, some people did: They figured it out and laughed, and they became what one might call “fans of the show.”

Oh, I know her, I used to fuck her sister.

Risoluto,Isn’t acting the sort of thing you can’t quit?Anything can be quitis

Try to be clear.

Obligated? Is obligation what you want, is obligation the same as love?

It’s her or me.outraged!—


My feet are touching the ground.

All right, goodbye then.

So you’re saying you’re fine with me being homeless?

Rubato.we can drop the Dr.,I’m not a fan of formalities—rubatoone time

recoveringBut why, you’ve been happy with your progress, I thought?





stalking?flashed a knife?

transference?Not a fan of formalities


Shelly Oria is the author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0, which earned nominations for a Lambda Literary Award and the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, among other honors. She coauthored a digital novella, CLEAN, which received two Lovie Awards from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Oria's fiction has appeared in The Paris Review and elsewhere, been translated to other languages, and won a number of awards. Oria lives in Brooklyn, where she codirects the Writer’s Forum at the Pratt Institute and has a private practice as a life and creativity coach.