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It wasn’t important enough to be named
But it was important enough to kill us, the hens
And heifers and sweetheart and
Who said small town folks like us couldn't fly? We did it

Basement and all, first everything got a nervous twitch, an unholy
Levitation, then we were breathing cloud fumes, sunrise
Stricken, didn’t need no wings, glass shards
And bed frame nails striking our midwestern skin
Like mean raindrops, we rose higher than a prayer

Ignored, than a wish in smoke, like the Lord did, faster
Than the Lord did, the outswing latch exploding
On the basement door, ascension hooch in hand,
High enough to see the whole tri-county area laid bare and naked

I could have blushed. For a tiny moment our old house froze
Midair and everything hit the floorboards just right
And it looked like a mess but also like home, like we threw
A real shindig and never bothered to clean up, hand knit sweaters

Seven miles high, bread in its box somewhere and inch-marked
Door frames and a home whose heart groans when it's ripped apart,
A bedroom shucked by heaven itself. Sweetheart’s body
Is eventually found several miles away, our jams scattered

Even further, I land in a boring field looking
Like pig feed but I don’t care, I know we’ll eventually be buried
Together, I know it was a hell of a death and I'm happy we died
Doing something impossible, shot head first into sunshine and gosh
Darn it felt good. Our barn cat survived of course

I like to imagine the old cow did as well, I like
To imagine we landed somewhere warm
Like the coasts of a Mississippi beach.
I like to imagine we’re still up there soaring

To this day, porcelain-chipped hair and wounds openly bleeding
We look alright to me. Don’t worry sweetheart, we turned into wind
Riding reckless as a Saturday drive laughing
And wheezing like a pair of sentient tobacco pipe
Puffs, like a rooster’s song, like a couple of country fried angels



Dante Novario currently lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where he works as a therapist with special needs individuals. His work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Firewords Magazine, ANGLES, KAIROS, Thin Air Magazine, Still: The Journal, Ghost City Press, Jersey Devil Press, The River Magazine, Rogue Agent, and others.
Current Issue
13 May 2024

This variation on the elixir of life pairs the flavour of roasted roc with the medicinal potency of the philosopher’s stone. But buyer beware: this dish isn’t for everyone.
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