Susannah Felts


I sat in a parking lot and told him I knew a thing or two about self-hate.

He did not want to hear it. He was ready to get off the phone. We’d been on for over an hour.

My legs were sweating, slippery on the leather. My ear, pressed to the phone, sweating too.

I cracked the car door. Trucks rushed by and drowned out my sobs.

I performed tragic lover scorned. Sniffling and sighing and whimpering, falling apart, the lot of it.

I wanted to finish too but I did not want to be the one.


If I’d known it would come to this.

If I’d not climbed in the truck that summer night.

If I’d never been on Facebook.

If it rains tonight like it did the last two, this old house will surely tumble down the hillside.


I was addicted to wanting. The tug, thrum, the swoon. We all want to name it. Like checking for messages, that spurt of dopamine.

I was intrigued by my body again.

His name was—

Do you hear me?

Can you see my mouth, groping these sounds?


I sit on my dirty little porch and watch a UPS truck churn up that hill and it makes me think of bears, brown bears. I would like to see a bear. If I stay very still, if I am patient like I never have been, might I?


If I’d known it would come to this, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.


I like the UPS—I like when they come. I want there to be something in that bear for me. Wish it would disgorge a gift, a solution, a conversation that develops like an image, swishing in the bath.

It comes rumbling back down the hill and looks like it might just tumble down the rain-thick slope into this dirty little porch and the hostas and ferns, my shady damp spot. I wish it would. With whatever is inside spilling out.

A great disturbance in the woods.

Susannah Felts‘s work has appeared in publications such as Wigleaf, Quick Fiction, The Sun, and the Oxford American, among others. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and daughter.