by Audrey Walls

These woods are ugly. Don’t bother pretending they hold significance other than blood. Each misstep, a rattler snuck into my bones. Even the wind hisses us home. The roads dissolve into gravel & clay where we scraped dead rabbits from embankments, their pinkish bodies still warm with rot & flies. Now, each fence rusts red against our open wounds. I turn my back on the dark, the smell of cut roots. I ask if he’d ever live here again.  He shrugs.  You can’t take the country out of the girl.  I tell him to be honest. It was years ago & you could hardly call it living.