The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “Twenty-Something” by Tatiana Ryckman


“All the Reasons I Love You, Even Though Life Is Fleeting and You’ll Just Die and Rot Anyway”

I closed his nostrils between my fingers and pulled his jaw down, open. The hole invited me to jump on the muscle that pulsed and twitched there, squirmed against my touch. I took it out and pet it as it writhed in my palm.

“My turn,” he said when I put back the tongue.

I lay down on my back and my mouth was stuffed with blue sheet, worn from washing, torn from fucking.

“It’s not a sex thing,” I’d said while looming over him, fingering an eyeball—the nub between his legs agreed. “I just want more from you than you’re giving me.”

When it was his turn, it was fair. He had everything out in the open. I hadn’t given him enough, but then, even looking, he couldn’t find much more to take.

This selection comes from Tatiana Ryckman’s short fiction collection Twenty-Something, available now from ELJ Publications. Purchase your copy here.

Tatiana Ryckman was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She is the author of two prose chapbooks, Twenty-Something, and VHS and Why it’s Hard to Live, and is Assistant Editor at sunnyoutside press. More at

Beth Couture currently serves as both a Board Member and an Assistant Editor at Sundress Publications. Her work can be found in a number of journals and anthologies, including Gargoyle, Drunken Boat, The Southeast Review, Ragazine, and Thirty Under Thirty from Starcherone Books. Her novella, Women Born with Fur, was published by Jaded Ibis Press in 2014 as part of its Blue Bustard Novellas series. She is currently working on her Master’s in Social Work at Bryn Mawr College, and she lives in West Philly with her husband and five cats.


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