Lonely Species

My partner made me ears from old suede gloves the color of charred brimstone. She pasted fake sheep’s wool in the center; an illusion of depth. I glued the ears to cardboard and pinned the ensemble to a headband.

Hearing seared me: my neighbor’s spit dissolving venison between its teeth, the cat on the first floor breathing on the window’s glass, a rustle in the crisp leaves below the old alder across the way.

I robed my neck in a fur stole, painted my face with whiskers, felt a coarse growl fill the low space of my throat. Just under my chin I fastened the GPS tracking collar, a hand-forged mechanism made from a headlamp and tinfoil. I left quietly, a cloud slipping over the moon. Continue Reading

The River Mother

I am probably nine years old, barefoot and balanced on a mossy rock in the middle of the Brandywine River. My two older brothers and I are stepping across the river, rock by rock. Our ears are full of the rushing sound of water, tumbling over and around the rocks in frothing, coffee-colored cataracts, roiling with mud. Continue Reading