Size / / /

Content warning:

as I unspool an onion. A line on a napkin
    to square to cube to—something else. Something
I can’t picture yet. Dad smiles with the duty
    of instillation. Broadening. Dad lives
in an apartment while he looks

for a house. The fried onion is a flower
    or a half-grated mouth. In another dimension
we are in the same house. I hear the fights
    through bathroom vents. Dad adds another
right angle to all his angles—he is something

else. Dad is an interdimensional being
    existing in all worlds. The other families
eating their onions turn to ash as Dad
    unspools. Dad says: I picked
this world
, even though he has no house.

Dad pulls a hypercube out of the napkin-
    drawing. Have you ever seen something
you have no ability to know? Dad says:
        Would you like to go somewhere
I think of being stick-figure girl

or something in Dad’s impossible shape. Dad’s
    endless black eyebrows. Dad’s thousand eyes,
Dad’s many-jointed fingers with the blood
    at the corners—he gnaws his cuticles
in every dimension. Offering me life

in a different shape. I think I’ll stay, I say,
    even though he has no house. Dad collapses
into the appropriate dimensions. Smiles.
    Flags down the waiter
                for the check.



[Editor’s Note: Publication of this poem was made possible by a gift from Jordan Hirsch during our annual Kickstarter.]

Maura O'Dea (she/her) is a poet and artist from Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Executive Editor of earthwords: the undergraduate literary review at the University of Iowa, where she is completing her Bachelor's in English and Spanish. You can find more of her work in other undergraduate literary magazines, including InkLit and Wilder Things, and online at Scrawl Place.
Current Issue
18 Sep 2023

Ama’s arm rested protectively around the girl’s shoulder as the giant bird glided above, its head angling right to left. Violet-black wings soared across a cloudless sky, blocking the sun’s midday rays and swathing sections of the village in deep shadow. Given its size, this argentavis was one of her first, but too far above for her to differentiate by name. Even across the distance, Ama could feel its heartbeat synced to hers, their lives intertwined until death.
She is leaving the world that is pink with desire, on her gray cardboard rocket ship.
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