Thursday, July 13, 2017

7/13/17

In which it is the apocalypse and nothing has changed
By Nicole Mason

(for Jason)


We find an apple orchard, you and I, and as we fill our bags, they watch us through broken windows, and some begin to poke up through the dirt. They clutch at us, and we run with our packs full of fear and love for various things. After we run, we stop and eat apples and talk of cheese sandwiches with mayonnaise and weekends, of electricity and toothpaste. Every day is some digression of this. I think of my grandfather and how he caught a train out of Bergan-Belsen to raise disappointing daughters. How, once, I saw him look up my girlfriend’s dress as she climbed a tree in the backyard. We eat apples for days and sometimes we run. It’s stupid to fight; you learn that straight off. It’s better to run. We eat apples and run, but it’s you and I and our love for various things. Everything has died, but since it’s everywhere and everything it’s stupid to care; you learn that straight off, too. We find an old campground with an oil drum for a fire and there are only a few of them paddling around in the boggy lake. At night, they gather and sway at the edge of the shore to stare at the moon that cuts through the water like an open wound and a few of them wade out. One of them looks like my mother. She’s disappointing and squashy and her blond hair has pooled around her. She’s waist-deep in the water and her skirt has bubbled and puffed up. I want to suck your apple flavored fingers and tug at your hair and tell you that of the various things I love, you are the only one, it is only you and I in this wasteland. Instead, I push myself into the water in a canoe and find the one that looks like my mother so that I can smash her face in with my oar. When I come back, you tell me about Tonya, and how you had to shove her down a flight of stairs and leap over her sprawling body


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I received my MA in Literature at Northern Michigan University. Currently, I teach Composition and Creative Writing at Indiana University of South Bend. My poems have appeared in The Chiron Review and are forthcoming in (b)OINK and Cease, Cows.

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