Thus began a long period of acceptance: bone marrow nourishes
blood vessels, tortured anatomy, rehabilitation. How fingernails
keep growing after death. Bird’s beaks do the same thing. Can you hear them?
Flowing in both directions—I know this is impossible, but it happens. Often,
a dilation will occur when the insomniac beast wins the battle,
thundering hooves at night rippling under open windows. In waves,
the wind hits each branch one by one, hemlines last: lace is too fragile
to blow away at the kneecaps. A chill inside the joints, fresh
and wounded. I shot a deer when I was five, and never forgot the sound
of it. Can you tell me which way to row? The paddles were drowned last winter,
the only year it froze completely over, the year we lost our horses
to the flesh-eaters. Amend it, mislabeled, like my eye-color and how
no one quite knows how to pronounce mountain.


Erica Hoffmeister received her MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in poetry and an MA in English from Chapman University of Orange’s dual degree program in 2015. She has work published in Shark Reef, Rat’s Ass Review, Split Lip Magazine, and others. Erica received an honorable mention in the Lorian Hemingway Short Fiction Award in 2014 and was a runner up for the 2016 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize. She currently teaches English composition and literature in Denver, Colorado where she writes and lives with her husband and baby girl, Scout Séverine.

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