KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 9: Spring 2018
Prose Poem: 161 words

The Back Office

by Elizabeth Kerlikowske

Her parents made their chauffeur promise to keep himself between their daughter and her date, and he’s doing a damn fine job of cutting in, cutting up, disrupting the flow of the evening. Even his gray uniform and kid gloves show up the suitor who smells of Ivory soap and Brylcreem. The chauffeur smells like cigarettes and SenSen, and the fine lines in his forehead promise stories and the kind of knowledge that makes a girl say, “I can’t know that yet.” His lip’s been split more than once and there are worlds in his eyes. Under his jaunty cap he keeps a tiny flask and his vial of cocaine. This is a good evening, a good dance, a good assignment. Once he drops off her date, he will drive to the grove, close enough to home for her to feel safe and far enough way to feel brave. He checks his watch again. Let’s go. Let’s go.


Painting: The Back Office, by Mary Hatch

The Back Office
Painting, oil on canvas
Copyright © by Mary Hatch. All rights reserved.

—Reproduced from with artist’s permission


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