Transient error

A girl sells her unlaundered socks to a boy she will never meet.
The exchange takes place in some armpit of the Internet.
If a girl sells herself unlaundered, deduce the boy has spent too much.
Deduce the boy has expendable income for Internet armpits.
Deduce the girl’s father does, too.
The girl’s father feels very bad about this income.
The girl’s father never tells the girl or the mother or himself.
The father does not recognize the girl as his daughter.
A father never recognizes a girl as a daughter.
The girl’s father waits for the next available pair of the girl’s unlaundered socks.

R. Stempel


R. Stempel is a genderqueer Jewish poet. Winner of the 2020 Matt Clark Editors’ Choice Prize in fiction from New Delta Review, their work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Nasiona (2020), Penn Review (2021), and elsewhere. They live on Long Island with their rabbit, Marguerite.

© 2021