Swipe by

When I swipe I am a genius. There is no other word.
          Ella – grumpy, bad music, priorities askew.
          [swipe left]
          Erin – too loud, too earnest, too familiar with her family.
          [swipe left]
          Nuala – an angel, a vision, will either marry her or kill myself.
          [swipe right]
          Honestly, I’m that good at it.
          One girl/woman (I am twenty-five, the age at which girls are also women), named Madeline, gave me pause. I had to scroll down to the second photo. But that was merely because in the first she’d inserted a group pic. Wily! Of course I could examine each face in the photo and extract every last detail of their lives from that, but the thing was: some I wanted to marry, others I wanted to banish. And how was I to know which way Madeline fell without knowing which face was she?
           But then I scrolled down and knew immediately she was to be banished. Sorry, Madeline. It could never work between us. This is, I’m afraid, the end.
            [swipe left]
            In real life I have much more difficulty.





John Reid is a publisher at Blackwater Press and the former managing director of Ringwood Publishing. His fiction and poetry has been awarded the George Bruce Memorial Prize; shortlisted for the Streetcake Experimental Writing Prize; and features in several US and UK anthologies including Map Literary, Flash Fiction Magazine, Reflex Fiction, Electric Reads and From Arthur’s Seat. 




Illustration by Zabrina Renfrew – www.instagram.com/byzabrina




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