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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 4, December 2017
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Chris Bays
Beavercreek, Ohio, USA


Magnifying Glass

In the clinic pamphlet, cells with fish-like scales are displayed in photos. They are the healthy cells. The cancerous ones are like black mold cast into prehistoric shapes. Diagrams warn of UV radiation, smoking, and pollution. Have I lingered too long in the sun? I look around the waiting room. Teens with acne. Seniors with skin tags. Most seem to be here for routine checkups too. Except for a young man in fatigues who is staring at me. His face appears distorted, and I want to turn away. But I don’t. Where there once was a nose, a pink nub with dark holes remains. Where there once were lips, two lumps of flesh are stretching into a smile.

soft rain . . .
a lily blooms
in a burnt stump

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