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Backyard. Summer. A Child covered in bees.
Sink. Water. Dishes. Mom.
Outside. Buzzing. Velcro shoes. Lurching. The crunch of grass.
Kitchen. Window. Mother. A glance.
Plates. Clatter. Feet. Scrambling. Screen door. Swinging.
The sky. The grass. Blue. Green. Cloud country. Expansive. Overwhelming. So blue. So green. Screams. Mom. Toddler. Arm. Extends. Mouth. Open. Bees. Fill.
Broom. Hose. Towel. Nothing.
Headspace. Memory. Intrusive. Mom as a girl. Florida. Home. A man. Inconsolable. His love. Swimming. Pulled under. A gator they said.
Whiskey. Guns. Man. Friends. A truck.
Horizon. An orange line. Dawn. Squealing brakes. Yelling. A crowd. Mother as child. Weaving. Men. Sweat. Flatbed. Full. Jagged shapes. Shovels. Wedging. Flatbed. Open. Dust. Wafting. The butcher’s block sound of meat.
A pile. Alligators. Dead. The man. A knife. Tears. Ribbed bellies. A cut.
Her son. Collapsed. Face down. Blades of grass. Bees thinning. Skin. Pink. His head twice its size.
Fingers. Fumbling. Phone. 911. Operator. Please. My son.
Grass. Knees. Crunch.
A child. A baby. Her arms. His body. Her lap. Convulsing. Tremors. Breath. Her eyes. The sky. Virgin blue. And the clouds. Grand. Muscular. The clouds. Dinosaurs in the sky. The horizon. The trees. The wilderness. Beyond the pines. An ocean of lapse.
Gus Moreno is from the south side of Chicago, and his work has appeared in The Legendary, Bluestem Magazine, the transgressive anthology "Burnt Tongues," and a bunch of other places that are totally not defunct. He is currently working on a new novel.