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Katherine Riegel-V







In a forest on the edge

of the world a woman

reaches into her chest,

fingers pushing through

layers of muscle and fat,

breast and ribcage. She

withdraws a splinter

and holds it between her fingers,

buries it in the fragrant

leaf mold under the hanging

universe of green. She will


miss that splinter of

salt, blood, chance

as she walks back into

her life, puts on

the detritus of rubber

sneakers, car keys, mouth

for smiling and eating and

making clever remarks. Other

women will sometimes look

too deeply into each

others eyes and know

too much, feel themselves

slip, before their hands rise

to their faces and press it all

back into place.


Not one of them knows

how long they will be waiting.