Marina Rubin


from the book Stealing Cherries, published by Manic D Press (San Francisco: 2013),
with permission of author and publisher

Temptress II by Ralle

i came to seduce the artist. Under the pretense of buying his art. around the corner at Citarella, i handpicked more than a dozen strawberries. six-fifty a piece, they were strawberries on steroids richly covered in dark, milk, white chocolate, glazed with a gold thread, on a bed of gauze tissues they looked like Faberge eggs. i handed him the gift box in the doorway, for the great maestro, his atelier – a closet without windows, beds or chairs, stale smell of farts, cigarettes and paints, miniature refrigerator in the center doubling as coffee table. among unfinished watercolors, framed prints, rolled canvases like carpets, i heard him remark he hated strawberries, hated chocolate even more, that this was the most unfortunate combination. yet he gobbled them one after another, juice spurting down his chin, chunks of chocolate like pieces breaking off an iceberg, falling to the floor, he picked them up, put them back in his mouth, complaining how costly Citarella was, how he only went there as if for a gastronomical fashion show. i bought two prints i did not need, tramped home through Bryant Park tugging at my disappointment, like a new garter belt.


About the writer:
Marina Rubin’s work has appeared in over eighty magazines and anthologies, including Dos Passos, 13th Warrior Review, 5AM, Fiction on the Web, Westchester Review, Coal City, Gravel, Newfound, Lillith, Skidrow Penthouse, and The Worcester Review. Rubin is an associate editor of Mudfish and a 2013 recipient of COJECO Blueprint Fellowship. Her book of flash fiction Stealing Cherries (Manic D Press) received an Honorable Mention on Heeb Magazine’s list of Best Books of 2014. Her short story “Good People Make Bad Couples” was shortlisted for the 2019 Writers’ HQ Flash Fiction Prize, and her upcoming short-story collection Snuffbox has just won an honorable mention for the 2020 Miami Book Fair Emerging Writer Fellowship. In addition to writing, Marina Rubin is an avid mountaineer, having summited Kilimanjaro, made it to Everest Base Camp, completed Tour du Mont Blanc and Camino de Santiago. She lives in Brooklyn.

Image: Temptress II by Rallé (1949- ). Oil on board. No size specified. By 2010. By free license.