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  • Jessica M. Simpkiss

Dead wood












We left it out in the rain accidently but also on purpose,

during one of the worst storms my memory could hold

onto, the one where the tree branch prowlers scratched

at the windows throughout the night, claws like cats and

the wind howled with the wolves who love the moon on

cloudy nights. When we brought it back inside after the

rain moved on to other loves, it had swell and rot on it

like a bad piece of wood after the winter thaw. We knew

it would never burn right in the vintage, pale-yellow

stove, but we put it in anyway and let the ash from the

burns before cover it so it looked like love to everyone

that warmed their hands in the artificial flames it birthed,

but underneath the coat of dead wood was a love we’d

left out to rot because we were never meant to love

each other the way we thought

Virginia Beach, VA, USA

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