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April 2018, vol 14 no 1

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Jonathan Humphreys

A Collection Of Bloodstained Cloth, Circa 1864

By July the Confederate captain is explaining to his men why they cannot eat the watermelon-sized mosquitoes. By August he is pointing out the stars that are held up by nails – where said nails are rusting, where they are coming loose, and which watermelon-sized mosquitoes will venture high enough to snag themselves and burst open, painting entire houses. He is willing to give his own red plantation, his own red wife, to his first officer, he says, if the gentleman find him a river in which to bathe. Not just any river, he clarifies. One that isn't red.

the night’s longings
become the day’s –