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The Haunting Of

After we fight, I find you on our closet floor and coax you from hiding; I only understand when you speak of your childhood. At Hobby Lobby, we find a 17” wooden baseball bat and, even though you chuckle as you swing it, it does not reach your eyes when you tell me it reminds you of your father’s. We choose not to have children. We say the world is too scary, that we do not wish to pass on our genetics. I do not mention what you really fear is becoming your parents. Your mother sits across from us in the booth and says, “But it was never physical with you.” Our hands find each other under the table and I squeeze and squeeze to keep you tethered until she bursts through our stunned silence with her tears. That very night when she asks for forgiveness, you tell her, “No,” and revel in the fact that it devastates her. We are asked to a family reunion. I want to peel the webs from every skeleton in their closet, to ask your mother why she hates me just for loving you the way she was supposed to. I want her to be haunted by your ghosts, to realize what it is like to patch together the pieces of you whenever you shatter.

But you would still be a puzzle she cannot solve.

Bio

Brittany Franclemont graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She has previously been published in Gravel, r.kv.r.y., Anti-Heroin Chic, and Gnashing Teeth Publishing.

 

book cover of Dominant Genes

BOOK REVIEW: Dominant Genes by SJ Sindu

In S.J. Sindu’s Black River Chapbook Competition winning collection, she posits questions about female bodies and queer identities as a means to confront and interrogate tradition. Dominant Genes serves as

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