Bio Note: I keep myself busy as a writer, grad student, Village Councilwoman, mother, wife and novice roller skater. I have a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but I'm truly a pacifist at heart. Nested in Albany, Ohio, I fancy myself an Appalachian-feminist poet. You might find my work in Northern Appalachia Review, Sheila-Na-Gig Editions, Ghost City Review and elsewhere.
Our children gather in the square for the spectacle, skins turned inside out and back again. Councilmen slide their crocodile hands into the furs, forefingers move the tiny mouths that hid cheekfuls of treasures hours before. During squirrel season in the village, we gather what we can— creature, nut or fallen apples haloed by hungry flies. We hollow the insides, pluck from shell, peel skin from meat, leave the bones behind. After the show, jaws sore from laughter, our children plot the hollowing of their Councilmen, question if their tiny hands are large enough to move the mouths.
Regret Is Not The Word
—For J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the fathers of the atomic bomb. 200,000 dead, and he feels his hands touch each body at the blast. In sleep, he dreams of Hiroshima, plucks buds from Cherry Blossoms. Rows and rows of pink clouds, he works with duty to strip bare, shoves each petal into his mouth hopes to taste their blood. He never finishes before sunrise.
©2021 Stephanie Kendrick
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