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He doesn’t say anything to the garlic. Mother Stress is

in the kitchen. Water from the shoddy gutter tugging

down the door, cracked from a wayward sun. And the

cat was dragging his bum leg. The cat called Patience.

Patience of farm and fichus. If only the son could be

mastic. If only the son could go dusky. Chromaticism,

chromosomes, clutched undercover. Her hopes. He

turned the knob on the stove and the flame was

grave, sidereal. Are you attracted to me? He asked the

onions. Huh? Huh? Meanwhile, she kneaded her

temples. He was mauling the beef, massaging the

marble, applaudable marbling—it’s Charity, Mother.

Patience and Charity mewling in the alley. Stop

worrying. Well, grow up. She would worry if she

wanted to. You don’t tell me what to do, Mr. Blue

Battleships tattooed on your shoulder. We just

refinished these floors.

Decoy Collage 9 - Kelly Clare

Decoy Collage 9 - Kelly Clare


Gunfire in the garden—cherished recipe for cheer. Sister Sadness flicked the trigger and twisted her earring into a paperclip to hold a prolegomenon for “Cashmouth.” Saving is important. Shit sandwiches or not, crouch for copper. One round off, locked and loaded. Beautiful bullet, fat as a carpenter bee assaulting the archivolt. The bench was expensive with poinsettias from the nursery across from the Porsche Club president’s home. Takeout cartons from Golden Bowl. Lucky numbers 22, 38, 55, 18. Tucked away off County Line, Sister Sadness shot into traffic. What good was goodness? She had wasted wisdom. She shot again. Said winch. Grazed gazebos. A topiary elephant. O! When would she be useful? She splurged on a fur muff. Hid her trigger finger and slept on her back, snugging the barrel.

return to ISSUE THREE

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