Leah Browning
Leah Browning
Things I Remember
When I'm Sober

a collection of very short fiction

by Leah Browning

Silent Station Press


Chicken / 1
Touch / 3  
Pick Your Own / 6  
Ear Mites / 10   
Because I Didn’t Notice
the Little Signs (Part 1) / 12  
Allegiance (Part 2) / 14  
A Little Luck (Part 3) / 15  
Anesthesia / 17   
Scars / 18   
Bad News / 19  
It Wasn’t Much of a Betrayal / 21  
Because Leslie Wanted to Be
Britney Spears / 22   
After the Party / 23   
Every Sunday Is Game Night / 26   
Things I Remember When
I’m Sober / 27
A Party Like This / 29   
Paper Life / 33   
Adaptation / 35   

She never draws the blinds, even at night, so anyone out walking a
dog past her house can see their family crowded around the dining
room table. There are two boys and a girl, just what she always
wanted, even though she would have liked just one more girl
because she used to love to fix her daughter’s hair and dress the
girl up in little outfits and, you know, to even things out with the boys,
but he has a lowish sperm count and she’s getting too old and she’s
made her peace with it. They like to play board games, though she
allows cards every once in a while just for a change of pace, and
even though they’re the ones who have to be dragged into the room
practically kicking and screaming, she always seems to be the one
who ends up ticking her nails against the table because she’s so
impatient to keep going, to have fun, to make sure that her husband
knows he’s made the right choices and the person walking the dog
in the dark looks past the parted curtains onto the stage of their
dining room with envy and after she’s dead the kids always
remember how close-knit they were when they were young.  
Because if they don’t, what will have been the point of any of it? The
oldest boy tells a joke and there’s something about it—everyone else
laughs but she missed a word or a line or the entire middle section,
or there’s some up-to-the-minute reference to pop culture that she
doesn’t understand—but she throws her head back, laughing until
there are tears in her eyes. Can’t you see the pale white skin of her
throat, gleaming in the lamplight? Can’t you see how happy she is?

First published in Salome Magazine, February 28, 2011.


Leah Browning is the author of three short nonfiction books for teens
and pre-teens. Her third chapbook of poetry,
In the Chair Museum,
was published by Dancing Girl Press, and her fourth is forthcoming.
Browning’s fiction and poetry have previously appeared in
River Review
, Fiction Southeast, Toad, Bluestem Magazine, Cape
Fear Review
, Storyscape Journal, 300 Days of Sun, The Citron
, Halfway Down the Stairs, 100 Word Story, The Blue Hour
, Lime Hawk, Wigleaf, Thin Air Magazine, Dressing Room
Poetry Journal
, The Big Jewel, Gnarled Oak, Per Contra, Glassworks
, and Mud Season Review. Her work has also appeared
on a broadside from Broadsided Press, on postcards and bookmarks
from the program Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf, in
The Wardrobe, with
audio and video recordings in The Poetry Storehouse, and in several
anthologies including, most recently, a limited edition anthology on
myth and magic from
Sugared Water and Porkbelly Press. In addition
to writing, Browning serves as editor of the
Apple Valley Review.
Product Details  
Chapbook: paper, saddle
Number of pages: 37
Publisher: Silent Station Press
Date: December 2015
Language: English
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8 inches
Shipping weight: 2.5 ounces
Price per copy: $8.00 US
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