KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 6: Fall 2016
Haibun Story: 317 words

Looking for Labels

by Elizabeth Alford

You ever been to The Hamper before? It’s the hottest new dive bar for clothes. Sure, I know just about everyone who comes in here. You see that button-up at the end of the bar? The one wallowing in his sleeves? Not ten minutes off work and he was in here again and already wasted. I heard he’s some bigshot over at The Walk-In Closet. But look at him now. Crumpled on the counter. Sweat stains under his arms. Lipstick on his collar. Clinging to his glass with his cuffs like it’s gonna save him from the bleaching he knows is coming. Poor fool.

crickets harmonize
from the shadows of moonlight
meet with me tonight

You know, I did see him hitting on this cute little spring blouse earlier. She was pink, sweet, a real flirt. Some kind of polyblend, maybe. I didn’t get her brand name. Those two were schmoozing like a couple of loose t-shirts for the longest time. I stopped paying attention about when they started playing with each other’s necklines. But a while later he started yelling—like someone had taken a hot iron to him. Something about a missing button. The blouse had already taken off. That’s when he noticed the lipstick. His wife’s gonna rip a stitch when she finds out what he’s been up to. Poor fool.

April summer...
mosquitoes have
an early dinner

Yeah, he’s married—to a coat. A little heavy. Nice rack, though. They’ve got babies too: a onesie and a couple of toddler tees. They look like him. Imagine: the whole happy cotton family waiting for Daddy to walk in the drawer. Kids playing at sock puppets in the corner, wife folding and putting things in order. Meanwhile, he’s here at The Hamper getting hammered and hitting on younger clothes. Poor fools.

where curious deer
wander from their forest trails—
a dented guardrail


—Semi-finalist, KYSO Flash HTP Writing Challenge

Elizabeth Alford
Issue 6, Fall 2016

is a magna cum laude graduate of California State University, East Bay (B.A. English, 2014). She currently lives in Hayward, California, is an amateur photographer, and spends most of her time writing Japanese short forms. Her work has recently appeared at Cultured Vultures, Silver Birch Press, Hedgerow, and Failed Haiku.

Follow her poetry adventures at:

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