i was reading the roses on the back cover of a hand-bound novella, the card stock thin and creased at the corners. no bookmark. i unwrap a lollipop - yogurt-flavoured, half-pink, half-white - and sit on the folds of a flowered apron laid out on the floor. cookie cutters are strewn on the table next to a block of cheese and an apple bitten by a soft grey mouse living under my bed. the kittens drink lemon tea and kiss the frosted grey glass marbles rolling on the wooden floor. i get up, lollipop still caught between my teeth, and rewrite invitations on buttery scalloped paper, leftover pastel streamers and confetti poured into every envelop they fill. the party is almost over. it is ten at night and the city lights flicker out. i buy a root bear float from goldilocks, the cream forming a cloud on top of the fizzy brown faux champagne. the kittens take a drink of it and i settle back onto the floor, remove the lollipop from my mouth and examine the pink stains it leaves on my tongue in the mirror.

also posted here: https://tinyurl.com/y6vf9d9x