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SmokeLong Quarterly

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A Light Kneels By a Gutter

Story by Emma Sovich (Read author interview) March 25, 2014

art by Leslie June

A light kneels by a gutter and in her hands are stones and on her back are bare wings and on her chest are bare breasts. But don’t worry they are soft small breasts that don’t hang so much as lean forward in interest. As if gravity a friend. Her nipples are small, so small it is difficult to tell when they are pinched or open. What is in her hands. The stones. What is in her mouth, no stones. She will peel the gutter up, no, she will bash pieces of it free with her stones and she will place the gutter piece by piece into her mouth, break her teeth on them because. Because it is what carries away all that we leave and lose.

Could the light fly from all that troubles her. Would that flight do more than compound trouble.

Could the light offer her breasts her unassuming breasts to the trouble to placate it. The trouble is not anthropomorphic and cares not for breasts. The trouble is not a goddess. It doesn’t even care.

There is a garland in her hair we think Wendy put it there. Wendy of old before old pinned her hair and stole water from her eyes.

Wendy’s own mouth she stuffed with cotton to hide her throat from the prying stars. Hide shadowed. She tore the cotton from her dress and left a ragged edge. She pressed two fingers down her throat with the cotton. Back, coat the tongue, absorb the tonsils.

She her mouth cotton stared up at the stars. They stared back like cold teeth. She wondered how many were rotted. How if you got too close you could smell them, burden your nose with foreign worries.

She picked at the threads to unravel but perhaps her fingernails found something else. She unraveled. She expelled weft, warp, and dark unrealized.

About the Author

Emma Sovich studies creative writing and book arts in MFA programs at the University of Alabama. Her chapbook, None of Us Know Any Stories, will be published by Dancing Girl Press in 2014. Find more of her work published or forthcoming in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Fairy Tale Review, and Handsome, among others. She blogs at graveyardhouse.com.

About the Artist

Leslie June is a digital media professional and underwater photographer. She currently builds websites and takes photos in Asheville, NC.

This story appeared in Issue Forty-Three of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Forty-Three
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