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January 2019, vol 14 no 4

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Jonathan Humphrey

The Elegy With Blue Eggshells Clinging To It

Robins galore and how at twelve years old I shot one with a pellet gun, lead pebble housed in its rusted breast. And my grandfather shooting me with his lucid tears and canon breath. And the cow, with her heavy, shit-brown patina, poor creature, wrapping herself in barbed wire, a dress. How she ran through the confetti of loose-seeded wildflowers, her metallic hem scraping and tearing all that is sacred, including herself. How the bloody milk-syrup oozed from the pendulum of each udder, and the flies, blue and green, gobbled and drank. How I picked each buzzing up by its wings and let them clean themselves with their diligent legs on my palms, fashioning my hands into their temple. And so the spring wind hatches robins. And they stretch above me, gather beside me, like a preening mass of guilt. Like air stripped from air. Until the worms turn. And this dark, time-tethered room in my head collapses.

without hesitation
kudzu swallows
another home