esculent (adjective: fit to be eaten; edible) by Caleb Andrew Ward

            Completely engulfed in yesterday’s leftovers, I realized my wife was not in the least bit sweaty after her return from the gym. I'd been considering leaving my wife, I believed she'd cheated on me. Twice. She continually left for the gym, but never returned with differed muscle mass; her body had become a shapeless blob of doubt in my abilities to perform as a husband. I believe she has begun an affair with her instructor, Hans. Hans, the bastard from Beirut.
            My theory begins with a small bite mark I found on my wife’s lower ankle. I thought nothing of it at first, because she explained that a small dog had chomped on her. I believed my wife, but after hours of brooding over a small fact, I began to call her farce. There were no dogs in our neighborhood. The Neighborhood Watch had banned them several months earlier. I had caught her initial lie, but allowed it to pass since I had drunk the last of the milk the night before, and left but a drop in the bottom. She joined a gym the next day. I thought it would be a nice change from the confines of our shapeless house.
            Well, now I’ve gone and let my food become cold. This story has become a disturbance in my evening.
            “Sweetheart, will you pass me the potatoes?” my wife said.
            I ignored her and finished my cold mashed potatoes.

Caleb Andrew Ward is a current Senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Some of his influences include Adam Wilson and John Jeremiah Sullivan. This is his fourth publication with Squawk Back. He is the Prose Editor of Atlantis and the Genre-Bender Editor of Treehouse Magazine.