Yellow Mama Archives II

Mikki Aronoff

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bates, Greta T.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Booth, Brenton
Bracken, Michael
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Cartwright, Steve
Centorbi, David Calogero
Cherches, Peter
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dinsmoor, Robert
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Flynn, James
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Glass, Donald
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernard
Holtzman, Bernice
Holtzman, Rebecca
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kirchner, Craig
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Kondek, Charlie
Koperwas, Tom
Kreuiter, Victor
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Margel, Abe
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Miller, Dawn L. C.
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Beverle Graves
Myers, Jen
Newell, Ben
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Potter, John R. C.
Price, Liberty
Proctor, M. E.
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reedman, Maree
Reutter, G. Emil
Riekki, Ron
Robson, Merrilee
Rockwood, KM
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schildgen, Bob
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
Short, John
Simpson, Henry
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snell, Cheryl
Snethen, Daniel G.
Stanley, Barbara
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Taylor, Richard Allen
Temples. Phillip
Tobin, Tim
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Al Wassif, Amirah
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
Weisfeld, Victoria
Weld, Charles
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

Spring Cleaning


by Mikki Aronoff



I’m fixated on the feathery quills sprouting from your armpits, peeking out from the short sleeves of your pink 100% cotton Over-Educated, Under-Loved Millennial T-shirt, although you’re nearing 91. My eyes widen watching your knobby toes stretch and web, your lips beak hard and yellow. Your belly beckons the ground, down sprouts from your crown, your throat, your flanks, your tail. Your wings now pinion. You shake and fluff to rearrange the dust that’s settled on all my surfaces. You’ve even brought your own bucket and mop. Are my hardwood floors not gleaming? My granite counters not sparkling? Have I not visited you often enough?


Good and proper, it’ll be, you say. Can’t let strangers in to help. You’re bobbing your head like one of those toy ducks with its beak dunking ad nauseam in the same glass of stale water.


You shunt me aside, bump me into a chair. Watch, I hear. Your nostrils steam the windows before you wing-wipe the glass. You hiss and lick my kitchen sink, your tongue a fishy-smelling strip of wet rag. Learn. Your bill tugs and pulls at all my closets’ contents. One honk for stay, two for go, then you cast the losers down the hallway chute. Items limp and bedraggled as any hard-working woman at weekend’s close thump down to the skip below. Soon, slimy things no longer slither from my toilet tank, and the bathtub faucet’s slick as Jack on a Friday night. For a final fillip, you flap your wings wide and high, create currents that freshen the air while cooling the round heat of your breast.


I wrestle myself out of my La-Z-Boy, return with my tablet. I google what can be inherited, what can’t. I’ll be back next spring, you wait and see! you quack as you waddle toward the warmth of my bed, its duvet feather-heavy. You’ll learn! What the hell, it’s just for one more night, I tell myself. I scrunch down on the couch, jam my pillow over my head. But I still hear the ghosts of your insistence over the creaks and slams of apartment doors down the hall, shutting for the night, one by one.




Years from now, you won’t remember why you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, visit your mother more often or attend her last dying days before the memorial next to a pond. To remember would flood you with guilt, and you had no time for that. You shiver with distaste, then relief as you shove all the family photographs up high in the hallway closet, shelved along with your mother’s life-long quacking disappointments. You fill all your spare time volunteering for the Red Cross, joining the board of two nonprofits serving the unhoused, escorting women to their abortions. You read to the blind on Saturdays, knit socks for the needy as you watch the news recaps. Over Manhattans, you confess to a colleague that you considered, for a minute, fostering a child or a dog. You snorted till the bitters burned your nostrils. You decide to learn Italian.


More years pass. You will retire from your job but keep half your volunteer positions, the ones your friends seem to admire. One morning, dressing for the Wednesday bridge club you joined in your building, you feel a strange chafing. That night, you sit at your computer and google “best women’s razors” as pinfeathers pimple your armpits. Next, you research “hammertoes—surgery,” cursing your genetic inheritance. Your manicured fingers flutter over the keys as a breeze of feathers drifts past your face, a long, low hiss chills your neck.





Mikki Aronoff’s work appears in New World Writing, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Tiny Molecules, The Disappointed Housewife, Bending Genres, Milk Candy Review, Gone Lawn, Mslexia, The Dribble Drabble Review, 100 word story, The Citron Review, Atlas and Alice, trampset, jmww, and elsewhere. She’s received Pushcart, Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions, Best American Short Stories, and Best Microfiction nominations.

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