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Emily Skaja The Brute / Brute Heart After Pennsylvania, I couldn’t breathe. —Lucie Brock-Broido The facts are: I drove all night through the mountains to get away from him I cut up my credit cards to prove I would not leave him I woke up in the hospital to bonesaw / brushfire / thralldom the pieces were out of order there was glass in my cheek I tried to swallow an entire bottle I tried to leave without giving away my name I was not lost I listed no forwarding address There was a reason why I named the dog Valor If I was silent I’d learned the virtue of protecting my mouth at least I was going home to the house between the cemeteries to the red bud the willow trees the heavy muck-wet woods I loved & in my absence the house had been torn down to make more space for the dead I stood there breathing It felt like sliding a hand through loose dirt looking for tendrils & pockets of air It’s easy to be angry about how much hope there is in reaching The whole house gone & so many little monuments to the wrong thing

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Profile for Crab Orchard Review

Crab Orchard Review Vol 23 No 2 October 2018  

General/Awards Issue for 2018, Featuring the Winners of Our Annual Fiction, Poetry, & Literary Nonfiction Prizes

Crab Orchard Review Vol 23 No 2 October 2018  

General/Awards Issue for 2018, Featuring the Winners of Our Annual Fiction, Poetry, & Literary Nonfiction Prizes