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Eight arms came out of the stranger’s trench coat. One caressed my cheek, saying, “You’re

handsome.” Another hand offered me a cigarette, but, politely, I said I don’t smoke. A third arm touched my chest, asking me, “Do you work out?” A fourth plucked a leaf out of my hair, for which I thanked him. A fifth tied my undone shoelace. A sixth pointed to my approaching bus. A seventh arm shook my hand good bye. When I climbed on the bus, I noticed my wallet was missing.

José Enrique Medina earned his BA in English from Cornell University. He writes poems, short stories and novels. His work has appeared in The Burnside Review, Reed Magazine, American Writers Review, and other publications. He is a VONA (Voice of Our Nation) POC fellow.

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