AFTER SWITCHING ANTIDEPRESSANTS, THE NIGHT STRETCHES by Matthew Mastricova

After switching antidepressants, the night stretches over his body as he lies next to you in bed, thinking about dying again, even though he would never tell you that. He would never tell you that for months it has been creeping out his mouth—his death, his parents’ deaths, his students’ deaths, the death (or non-death) that comes in the after death. When he is lucky, he can find an anchor: a pair of your socks balled hidden under the table or a can of apricot La Croix chilled for days. Leftovers of a from-scratch meal you cooked that he packed for a lunch he may or may not remember to bring. A reminder that you still live here—you still live. In bed he stretches across your body like a hand over a mandolin. His body a compass seeking your warmth, your pulse, your promise that when he wakes up your body will still be singing there with predawn light. 

He will watch the night, the next three nights, pass over your body. He will tell you this, his pledge to try again another pill, only after he realizes that watching you, too, is just another way to die. But tonight is still early, or late, enough for him to promise that he will get better, drinking the clotted darkness between you till there is only your body, the sun.


Matthew Mastricova is the fiction editor of Third Point Press, and their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Catapult, Redivider, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere.  
 

Art by Bob Schofield @anothertower

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