The Problem by Malinda McCollum

The Problem

Sometimes I feel as if I’m going backwards, living as if I’m half my age, as if I’m in a dream, as if I’m in a movie, as if I’m on fire, as if I hate everything, as if I’m lying to absolutely fucking everyone, and then I speak to my daughter as if I’m going to get a reply, but she acts as if I’m a stranger, as if I haven’t watched her throw up, as if I haven’t changed her, as if I should please just stop Mom, as if I’ve lost it, as if I can’t imagine, as if I’m fading, as if I’m thin air, as if I’m here to see, not to be seen.

Malinda McCollum is the author of The Surprising Place. Her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, Zyzzyva, Wigleaf, Jellyfish Review, The Rupture, Passages North, and elsewhere. 

More by Malinda McCollum The End of the Day


Art Rudolf Koppitz Public Domain ALT: A black and white picture of a dancer holding her arms as if rocking a baby


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