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

Volume 12, Number 3, September 2018
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Gabriel Bates
Pittsburg, Kansas, USA


Tissue

That night, you were desperately trying to mop up your own puddle of blood. I can vaguely remember the mingling of our frantic screams.

"What did you do?!"

I could hear my voice breaking; something else did too.

Wrapping a towel around the deepest cut I've ever seen on your arm, I walked you out to my stepfather's truck. On the way to the emergency room, I held your wound tight and tried to offer reassurance. All you could give me was a slurred apology.

The doctors stitched you up, more than 30 little black lines. I went outside, unable to watch. My shirt was splattered red, and I cried like you didn't make it this time.

The scar is still there. They all are.

a small cluster
of white stars hidden
in all that dark
there's some kind of sadness
to both of our voices

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