Rappahannock Review | Issue 3.1: Tasha Cotter
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Saint Agnes House by Justin Carmickle
“‘How much work can sitting with an old man possibly be?’ Ian’s mother…”

A Lonely, Cold Place by Barbara Harroun
“I rise in the dark brutality of mid-February, feel for my slippers, grope for my warm, parka-like robe and cinch it at my waist…”

Built to Sink Biannually by Jaap Kemp
“Our ideals were at once immortal and despondent, seeking the sense of perpetuity that only death can afford…”

Tusk by David Nelson
“I knew there was nothing to say. You kept glancing down the line, then looking over at me to see if I’d caught you…”

The Good Sentinel by Alex Pruteanu
“Many years later, as he stepped up to the gallows…”

Ghostland Blues by Billy Wallace
“I can tell that Bennie’s no townie. He wants to smoke, but doesn’t want to leave his drink…”

The Ninety Day Wonder by Judy Bolton-Fasman
“Decades after he was in the Navy, when I was no more than six or seven years-old, my father tracked the weather as if he were still on the bridge of his supply ship…”

HG Pieces by Michael Levan
“Over the next three days, he realizes his life is ruled / by numbers…”

Plumb from a String: An Essay in Nine Sutures by Connor O’Neill
“It was something like the sound of two clocks ticking just out of sync, my brother’s bandages being cut….”

Dead Animal Farm by L.B. Thomas
“The goat screamed all night. It sounded like a human child yelling at the top of its lungs…”

How Not to Spell Gymnasium by Roy Bentley
“As for the rest, they spat consonants and vowels
in correct order while I was…”

Tucson in the Future by Kayla Rae Candrilli
“In the time it takes to fly across
the desert again…”

Girl in the Cave by Tasha Cotter
“For years, the messages go unanswered…”

Life in Outer Space by Tasha Cotter
“The people vowed never to leave…”

After Eden: Hopper’s Pennsylvania Coal Town by Karl Plank
“After Eden he made his way to Pennsylvania
tracing the coal seam with bruised feet…”

Still Life with Pronoun and Scalpel by Christina Stoddard
“With this blade, I must trim you…”

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Life in Outer Space

 

The people vowed never to leave.

The people adopted the same breed

of dog for thirty years. The animals

always named the same thing.

A girl living in space sleeps in slips

and dresses. Falls asleep in piles of leaves,

and braids the vines of strawberry beds

as fathers father the land.

You want to love where you’re from,

but home is a heartache: Calves weaned

from their mothers. The eternal

calling out. The cries and suffering

a hellish lullaby that you still hear

from space. A cry for assurance, a cry

for a broken, disrupted nature cutting

through the black stillness. You want it back:

The sound out the window as the house

kept you. The constellations memorized

from a book. For a long time you wanted

to know everything about outer space.

To prove there’s some unseen life

watching and recording you. You prayed

for a touch of the exotic. Let my body be

a landing strip for anything else.

No more landscapes. No more night.

No questions, not for a while

at least, when you stand in the field and stare.

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