Victoria park where I was running the ducks at water’s edge suddenly running too and in the empty space of their wake a tattered cat. I called him on his hunting and he meowed, ran after me hungry, lonely, being eaten alive by the city but I ran to lose him not because I don’t love cats or didn’t want to rescue his painful life but because I was far from home in a conference hotel. Was it the same with the men I approached when I was young and lonely? I always took it personally but maybe they were just figures rendered useless in the scheme of things on the day my heart was warming and years later they paused to scratch out an excuse.
Jenny McBride’s writing has appeared in Common Ground Review, Rappahannock Review, The California Quarterly, Conclave, Tidal Echoes, Streetwise, and other publications. She makes her home in the rainforest of southeast Alaska.
My books are sniping at one another Hurling accusations concerning inaccurate information On blood sugar and forceps. Later on in the week I will make a bonfire In the kitchen and scald their flapping tongues. A mobile over the crib jiggles uncertainly. The yellow bunny sneers at the spotted cow. It knows nothing of midwives. Quaint word From a simpler time when mothers died With rags stuffed in their mouths to muffle the screaming. I’ve discovered that I don’t need God. A gazelle sleeps beside me. I can feel its fur choking my breath, I can taste the grass on its hind legs, Alone in this angry house.
Beth Sherman received an MFA in creative writing from Queens College, where she teaches in the English department. Her fiction has been published in The Portland Review, Sandy River Review, Blue Lyra Review and Gloom Cupboard and is forthcoming in Delmarva Review and Rappahannock Review. Her poetry has been published in Hawaii Pacific Review, Hartskill Review, Lime Hawk, Synecdoche, Gyroscope and The Evansville Review, which nominated her poem, “Minor Planets” for a Pushcart Prize this year.