Canyons

When I was young I used to drive
with no companion or destination in mind.

Cutting through heavy valley heat on the 101
then curving toward the coast through Topanga Canyon
1969, on an unmarked road by a no trespassing sign,
parked between the boulders, eucalyptus and
sage with four-track off and eyes closed
I’m seventeen and waiting for a
transformation—that wasn’t coming that
afternoon.
Or any time soon.

For every hasty engagement
there was a Benedict Canyon.
For every cleaving together
there was geography.

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Crosses

Jesus lay between my breasts on my 18ct cross. My future husband fell in love with Jesus before he fell in love with me, but I married him, anyway.

I always wanted to marry a man like my father. Someone who would protect me when screen doors unhinged from their wooden frame and flew across our farm. A man who ran toward flames in January and February and returned home with singed hair and face covered in soot. A man who sat still, silent, letting my voice take center stage when I needed to be heard.

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apollo says goodnight

Nora Culik is a Michigan native who loves strange poetry, mathematics, and bad puns. Her fiction has previously appeared in The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics. apollo says goodnight the sun sets as i’m driving down I84. it feels like i’m in a fishbowl, gasping one last breath before the water closes over my head. mountains menace […]

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Scars

There was a time I looked down at the scars on my thighs and beamed with pride, as any child with a scar. The scars cut through the muscle to create indentations, one broad horizontal stroke on each leg midway between the knee and hip. I loved summertime because I could wear swimsuits and show […]

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