by Aimee Bender

He met a woman with eyes so black they woke up the nocturnal mammals. If you looked closely enough—if she let you—if you were her lover and lucky enough to see in that intently—you could, on a summer night, find Orion near her left pupil. The great hunter. Watch out. Those seven little dots glittering, scattered on the iris, were like brands of longing on the heart of the looker, and she never left a man complete. For the rest of their lives, memories of the slippery line of her back would flit into their minds, while driving through traffic, while frying bacon, while washing sand from their children’s hands after a long reddening day at the beach. Look into the sky on a dark summer night, and there, huge, is the eye of the woman you once loved like a rocket. Try to survive that.

Aimee Bender is the author of two books: The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, a short story collection, and An Invisible Sign of my Own, a novel. She’s had fiction published in Harper’s, The Paris Review, GQ, Granta, Story, and more, and lives in Los Angeles.