BY DYLAN SMEAK
A Calendar, a Cycle
In August, she feeds summer figs to spring rabbits. From a sweating lawn-chair, she watches the waxing moon in the mouth of midnight reflect in the curve of her kitchen knife, shining bold and out of place. She drops the sticky bruised pieces to the rabbits, their shapes sinking into uncut grass as they feed. She watches their bodies turn slow and thick, their stomachs coated violet with shreds of sweet fig. In September, six fledglings fall from her front lawn dogwood. She takes their small bodies into her hands, brushing away the fallen nest while admiring the pieces of cigarette and onion bag weaved between pine needles. In her backyard, she digs six pits in the soil of her herb plot. In the evening, she sits on her porch smoking cigarettes while she waits for the mother's return. The mother never comes. Unable to fall asleep, she walks to the shattered nest and places six cashed cigarette filters at the base of the tree; an offer of trade she hopes the mother will accept. In October, she pours a boy a bourbon soda, stirs the spirit with a spent sage stem. In the oven, a rabbit roasts–its skin soaked in herbed butter and crisping by the second. She watches the boy's hands choke his glass like a neck. She imagines these hands around the suspension threads of her throat–the buds of her eyes blooming wide beneath an understood brutality. Her becoming destroyed for some eager mouth. For now, she waits in the heat of her kitchen. A maven of opportunity constructing unseeable scaffolding, its beams spiraling upward through the roof, rupturing the night and barreling out into lord knows what.
Dylan Smeak is an Alabamian-by-way-of-Brooklyn-by-way-of-Georgia. He is currently finishing his thesis semester at The Writer's Foundry MFA in Brooklyn, NY. His fiction has appeared in CheapPop and New World Writing and is forthcoming in Deep South magazine.