'Two Men Kissing', LISP 2022 Flash Fiction Finalist by Finnian Burnettt
'Two Men Kissing'
This is a family company echoes in my head while I watch Discovery with my family and when Stamets and Dr. Hugh kiss, I see only Jamie Buckman’s gang screaming out the car windows and my first girlfriend asking what she’d done wrong and my father’s belt on the back of my legs. My mother throwing my backpack out the front door, come back when you’re normal and the stone-hard backs of men on the other side of bar nights, and this is a family company tossed across my boss’ desk with my last paycheck and my husband’s hurt face when I yanked my hand from his as my parents finally opened their door—the well-meaning smiles from other parents at our son’s daycare, aren’t they a cute couple, someone whispers, and the teacher asking, which one of you is the father? And my mother holding her first grandson, he’s going to turn out just like you. The kids at softball are laughing because our child has two dads and how we’re all sitting on the couch watching two men kiss on Star Trek, and my son turns around smiling and says, just like my dads. My husband’s hand is warm in mine as he leans in and at this moment, for this moment, we’re only ourselves, two men kissing.