Brandon Keller tells his Calc II class that you are beautiful, but you know that by SARAH PRISCUS


ISSUE ONE: March, 2019

Brandon Keller tells his Calc II class that you are beautiful, but you know that


you are not real. He says you go to the Catholic girls’ school in Eganville, and that your thighs look like whole cream when they peek out from below your tartan skirt.

Your face is more of a blurry vessel for thick, ready lips and fluttering eyelashes than anything else. You never wear makeup, but, through a thorough regimen of modern miracles and eating well, your cheeks are always blush-pink and silky.

You never object when Brandon slides his nervous hands up your legs, even though his nails are rimmed with woodshop dust and popcorn grease. His name echoes through your mind with the same steadiness as a metronome, though he never settles on a suitable name for you.

At night, you are a half-clothed apparition writhing upon him. You echo pornographic pig-squeals inside his mind until he falls asleep.

He says you’re all he needs.

You don’t have the heart (how could you? His 15-year-old-brain didn’t you give you one) to nudge his pudgy side and remind him that you are only a constant daydream - a masturbatory vision.

A good girl like you is lily-soft and never laughs at Brandon when he stutters. You get mostly Bs. Brandon gets B-pluses. He rarely has to smack you for talking back, and when he does hit you, you tell him you deserved it. Each statement you make has marinated in Brandon’s mind before it is voiced, so everything you say is exactly what he wants.

He searches for you in the girls in his classes, in the cashiers at the mall, and in the hamburger girls at the restaurant. He never finds you. You are not hiding. Maybe you would if you had to.

You love to watch Sunday night football.

You have teen-model teeth and Kardashian breasts.

You are casually perfect, but have not noticed.

You are not real.

You are glad.


SARAH PRISCUS writes in Ottawa, Canada, where she studies English at the University of Ottawa. She has been published in a number of journals, including Likely Red, Luna Luna Magazine, and Atlas and Alice. She can be found on Twitter at @sarahpriscus.