I know a girl with a scorpion tail, and you’d think she’d use this against her lovers, but she doesn’t. It curls out of her back where a tramp stamp would be, and it isn’t some implant, though she has magnets in her fingertips to sense electricity. She said she could feel mine. She could tell I was alive. I asked her what she was talking about, of course, I am alive; I am breathing, eating, arguing. She hooked my chin. I can feel you touching the world. Your cells and the divinity of them falling apart. We did not break up right after that, though everyone said I should; after all, she had a scorpion tail. I liked that tail. I used to stroke its brittle segments and know that love could hunt me down.

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Kathryn McMahon is a queer American writer living abroad with her British wife and dog. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in places such as Booth, Passages North, The Cincinnati Review, Jellyfish Review, Split Lip, and right here in CHEAP POP. Her work has received nominations for Best Small Fictions, Best of the Net, and the Pushcart, and has been selected for Wigleaf’s Top 50. She was also a finalist for the first-ever SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction. On Twitter, she is @katoscope. Find more of her writing at