Anaphylaxis by Kim Chinquee


Her face didn’t sting nor tickle, but it felt flush and had a sort of whirl about it. The cashier didn’t seem to recognize her. Maybe he noticed a resemblance to the days before, when her face might have been normal. She tried to smile, but her lips would only move so far. She felt muscles in her cheeks or maybe it was fat she hadn’t known about until now. Her face began to burn, but she didn’t know if it was from embarrassment or from the reaction.

At home, she put the nuts in the fridge. She called her almost ex and got his voicemail.

She said, “aww cawyyoowaywer.”

She took herself to the hospital. She drove through all the signs and sped through the stoplights.




Kim Chinquee’s most recent collection is Shot Girls. Her sixth book is due out with Ravenna Press in 2019. She is a two-time Pushcart Prize winner, Senior Editor of New World Writing and Chief Editor of ELJ (Elm Leaves Journal). She lives with her boyfriend, their four dogs, and she co-directs the Writing Major at SUNY-Buffalo State.


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Image: Paul Klee public domain