She looks at the image and thinks this is something I could do, this is someone I could be if I were more creamy-skinned and blonde instead, if I had a face shaped like a guitar pic and if my breasts were swollen and upraised next to my tanned arms. She is not the jealous type, does not covet or envy, but here is the perfect woman, a model, probably an actress, too.  Would it be so awful being a model, smiling on demand, disrobing at the hint of a handler’s disappointment?

She flips through the magazine.  She’s memorized the entire spread.  She imagines countless other men have done the same.  She doesn’t like thinking of the men and their staring which is a confused and hypocritical thought because if she could trade places with the model, she would.

She flips to the magazine’s cover shot of the woman wearing bunny ears and pink fuzzy balls where her nipples and pubic patch would be.  The woman is winking.  The date on the magazine says April, 1970.  She wonders how far in advance photos are typically taken before they’re paginated inside a publication.  She’s thought about that ever since she found this issue.  She’s wondered if she was inside her mother while the photographer directed her to pose this way, throw back a pout, wink.  She wonders if she was a few-days-old embryo, floating directionless in her mother’s womb, the two of them both naked, but both still alive.


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About Author


Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State and the author of four books, most recently the story collection, THIS IS WHY I NEED YOU, out now from Ravenna Books. You can also find more of his writing at

1 Comment

  1. Len, this is stunning and unexpected. It amazes me how you are able climb into the psyche of a woman and live there a while in story.

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