Janelle Bassett

Janelle Bassett lives in St. Louis. Her work has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Slice Magazine, Longleaf Review, Okay Donkey and Jellyfish Review. Her short story collection “Thanks for This Riot” was short-listed for the 2019 Santa Fe Writers Project Award, judged by Carmen Maria Machado. She’s on Instagram as @jbnows and barely on Twitter as @hazmatcat.

THE SWADDLE by Janelle Bassett

I am at the sink, rinsing a food processor blade, when I hear the cry of a tiny baby. Carrot bits go down the drain, easy, but the insistent wailing isn’t going anywhere. I assume the sound is some sort of inner-ear repercussion from the electronic-tornado buzzing of the food processor, yet the sound continues even after I open my mouth wide to pop my ears. A baby is definitely crying and it’s an I’ve-been-left-alone-which-I-am-not-built-for cry. I look up and think back, “Didn’t my babies grow past the baby stage?” I consult the refrigerator where, sure enough, their recent school…

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