Pomegranate

  This is how it happens—he lifts the dress above your head and brings it down around your hands. You become a peacock, all feathers, all lace. You breathe deep, shrinking your frame as he fastens the eye-hook, zips up the dress. Then, the shoes—crows’ feet— and you are ready. As you are presented, you…

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Ultrasound

  The body is pregnant                     with limbs and dismemberment—they tremble                     and clutch. Their mouths are open and closed again, the green bodies                     like ghosts                     turning over, a foot thrusting outward, another hand reaching                     gripping                     emptiness. It reaches for you and gathers nothing, is not angry—tries                     again.                     This is how you know these are the earliest…

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Umbrella: Customer Care

  Humans are a series of feathers left inside-out. You are out in the rain, pacing from one eve to another, looking up at the splintered gutters, left cracked from last year’s Michigan winter. At the door, you take the world inside—one footprint from the dirt path, a stone from the park. Then, the disconnect:…

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Tornado

  Before you know it, the earth takes on an extra layer of skin. The wind is whipping, whistling, and when you look outside, you realize this is how everything communicates: We speak. We destroy. And then it’s over. The world may have a few more years—and then all the buildings and swing sets and…

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Tenacity

  It’s this simple: the first relationship is nothing but a series of elephant bones— the dust and chalk that stumbles through the mouth. The body is fragile, indiscriminate, pining for what is lost in a field, or has never been given. You spend your time shedding the skin, the old bone, in place of…

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She Wanted To Be An Airplane

  Whether it was old wood or metal, it did not matter: it was the flight that was important, the escape and redemption of a sky over the house where she’d grown up, the shed where she sometimes hid in the middle of the night, watching for raccoons. She found a baby one, once, dead…

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Chastised

  The questions come like glass and ice. She removes her hair and a piece of her skull—this is all that could ever protect me—and the brain beneath is pulsing and pink and white. Later, in his dreams, he tells the other bodies that there was yellow, too: the series of electrons, leaping: hoping for…

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Morning Song

  Lackadaisical cries, and the morning is open. Outside, the world is still dark, but in here—through the neighbor’s walls—I hear the earth turning. She is small, perhaps three, and I can imagine her in the small purple pajamas I saw when the family first moved in. Her hair, a spring-tide of brown curls, bounces…

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Gray Wolf

  The myth begins with gray fur and yellow-moon eyes. The teeth. First, there are whispered sightings, dismissed into the neighboring water. * Next, the discovery of cattle bones, picked clean, the bodies having disappeared days before. The farmers are not pleased. What they are doing is unacceptable, they say, unclean. * Then, the massacre:…

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Afterlife

  “I’m not committed to life,” she said and her body was ash beneath the moon. She ate a pomegranate down to its last seed, took a breath and confessed. Pumpkin seeds tasted like water now. She often dreamed of swallowing an entire swing so that she might take that swaying motion with her. But…

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