Three Stories from Matthew Salesses

The Smell Was Asian

A familiar smell filled me up when I entered. I almost looked for my parents. I hoped I wasn’t attracted to her because of childhood. In our apartment, the wifely woman and I never cooked, so we never scared away all those years between now and repression. The Asian girl wore an apron I got off in a hurry. She let the kimchi burn.


My Therapist Had a Name for It

Afterward, she panted like she’d done most of the work, and maybe I had let her; it had certainly felt like giving in. But it was a break I’d needed—wasn’t that the point of an affair? I tried to pretend it was. I knew the point was more like the point of a knife, like I felt against the wall of my conscience. I had always been chicken.


My excuse had been a movie, alone, so now I had to make up a plot. The wifely woman never went to the movies without me, anyway. I was the one, she said, who wanted to escape my life. I said I’d seen Brad Pitt go crazy but it was nothing new. The first crazy was always the truest. After that, the actors only mimicked themselves.

Matthew Salesses is the author of The Last Repatriate (Nouvella) and two chapbooks, Our Island of Epidemics (PANK) and We Will Take What We Can Get (Publishing Genius). He writes a column and edits fiction for the Good Men Project.