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July 2016, vol 12 no 2

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Margaret Chula


Today I get an email from one of my oldest friends. She tells me she wants no further contact. Don’t even send me email jokes! As usual, there was some misunderstanding that could have been cleared up by talking it over, but she’s cut me off completely.

pruning rhododendrons –
without their dead flowers
the leaves shine

At night, I dream about reaching into my throat and pulling out white snakes. They’re roped together, like spaghetti. Over and over, I wrench them out. Then some black ones, thicker. I struggle to yank them through the gaps between my teeth. I pull and pull, throwing them into a deep latrine pit where I watch them writhing in a heap that grows higher and higher.

white camellia
falls headfirst
all its petals intact