Fructose Affection
by Mel Bosworth

Listen to Mel read “Fructose Affection”


I can’t say what I want to say so I throw jellybeans instead.

I keep a jarful on my desk, and each night when Marsha pokes her head into my room I grab a fistful and toss them at her. She quickly pulls back, the jellybeans spraying the door like rainbow shrapnel.

We play this game—she peeks in, I throw jellybeans—until the jar is empty.

Then she’ll stick her head all the way into my room and tell me I’m too aggressive. Then she’ll blow me a kiss.

I’ll say shut the fuck up and eat the jellybeans I just gave you.

She’ll bend down and put a red one in her pocket. Always a red one.

After she’s gone I’ll clean up all the jellybeans I threw. I won’t put them back in the jar; they’re empty cartridges, the powder burns sugar-coating on my fingertips.

In the morning I’ll whisper things to her while she’s still sleeping, tender things I believe she doesn’t hear. When I come home in the evening she’ll have filled the jar with jellybeans again. Some days they’re all red, and on those days she comes into my room wearing safety goggles and a smile.

Speak, she’ll say.



MEL BOSWORTH is the author of “When the Cats Razzed the Chickens” (Folded Word Press, 2009). He lives and breathes in western Massachusetts. Visit him at

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