‘Cauliflower is Just What Happens to Broccoli When it Dies’ by Exodus Oktavia Brownlow

Wife is holding cauliflower skull in her palms, cutting into it, and trying not to think about how it has lobes. Hemispheres. A stem.

Writers of flash fiction are expert users of space. Powerful images can make an impact, but arguably (“discuss”) you must still provide a story, some change in character or reader, so there’s a real balance needed of economy, structure, focus. The words you choose to build the image must do a lot of work, carry a lot of weight, and yet still feel seamless and original.

This is a story about a wife struggling to prep and cook cauliflower. It is also about loss, and death, and how we interpret the look and feel of the world around us. It’s about trying to see each other’s visions of the world, and how we bridge those gaps with our loved ones, even when it hurts. Holding on; holding each other. Picking up the knife.

First published in Jellyfish Review, 2022, available here

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