Literary Gut Punch: From Lindsey Smith's Experience™

I've written about Lindsey Smith before. She's my literary soulmate. The PB to my J. We met while we were students in Sarah Selecky's Intensive, and have been pals ever since. Lindsey's writing is brave and unapologetic. It takes up space in your heart. Recently, her story Experience™ was selected by Lisa Moore as one of two runner ups in the Little Bird story contest. I was not at all surprised. Moore said it better than I ever could, describing the piece as "a canny, lyrical, post-modern, and clever story about romantic love" and the prose as "tight, crisp, and affecting". Without further ado, here's a pretty little punch that clobbers you right in the kisser.

That first time, do you remember? When you said, “Hey,” and leaned into the tilt of the café table to make sure I didn’t walk past? In that instant, I remembered the imperfect whiteness of my mother’s milk. How it looked and how it felt swishing around in my wanting baby mouth. I remembered it even as I knew there was no way I could possibly know anything about the imperfect whiteness of my mother’s milk. You said, “Hey,” and I regressed. Your voice made me do it.

Literary Gut Punch: from Lisa Moore's Sea Urchin

I love a sentence that pummels me. I've slowly started compiling gorgeous Literary Gut Punches (LGPs) as I encounter them in my reading life. 

The latest example comes from Lisa Moore's story Sea Urchin which appears in The Selected Short Fiction of Lisa Moore: Open and Degrees of Nakedness. (You can also find it online here.)

The character she's describing is the narrator's father, whose blotchy face becomes such a tender force in the story.

"He sunburned easily and when he drank or became emotional, his skin would break out in red blotches, quickly, like the wind blowing a field of poppies all in the same direction."

Image credit: Alain Delmas (France) (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons