What Your Guest Tells Herself While Gushing About Your Home

Photo by Wilfried Santer on Unsplash

by Lisa K. Buchanan

The gleaming kitchen looks onto a terraced garden and handcrafted birdhouse. A granite countertop hosts museum-shop placemats, while five o-clock chairs swivel next to the picture-window creek and distant snow-capped mountains. Wearing her mannered upbringing and a skirt from some transcontinental excursion, she serves charming cookies on charming plates. Even her autologous breasts and copper curls are souvenirs from a disease I couldn’t afford to survive. Did a great-great-great-grandpa in her family exploit a great-great-grandma in mine? My own kitchen window, above the alley’s reeky garbage cans, is sealed shut, and no amount of pounding or scraping will open it.


Lisa K. Buchanan Notable, Best American Essays 2023; First Place, Short Fiction Prize, CRAFT, 2022. Here’s what she has been reading lately: The Nightstand  


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