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Dirty Fingers

by Diane Payne

It’s hot and humid but I’m determined to pull some weeds while I look at the clouds and wonder if they’ll finally bring much needed rain. I look at my filthy hands and remember a young male doctor treating me forty years ago for a yeast infection, and saying, “You really need to stop hanging out with mechanics with dirty hands.” Then he gave my leg a lingering pat, winked, and I wondered if I even knew any mechanics with dirty hands, and wanted to tell this seductive doctor I was certain the yeast infection came from me being a rather serious bicyclist, but I left with my prescription saying nothing. Later that night I looked at my dirty fingernails after tuning up my bike and thought about that young doctor and how his hands were probably always spotless, never tuning up a bike, or planting bulbs. Just scribbling notes and patting his female patients silent.


Diane’s most recent and forthcoming publications include: Best of Microfiction2022, Quarterly West, Invisible City, Cutleaf, Miramachi Flash, Microlit Almanac, Spry Literary Magazine, Another Chicago Magazine, Whale Road Review, Fourth River, Tiny Spoon, Bending Genres, Oyster Review, Book of Matches, Abandon, Notre Dame Review, Watershed Review, Superstition Review, Windmill Review, Lunch Ticket, Split Lip Review, The Offing, Elk, and McNeese Review.

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