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Copyright © 2016 by the Student Publications and Radio Committee (SPARC). The Grinnell Review, Grinnell College’s semi-annual undergraduate arts and literary magazine, is a student-produced journal devoted to the publication of student writing and artwork. Creative work is solicited from the entire student body and reviewed anonymously by the corresponding Writing and Arts Committees. Students are involved in all aspects of production, including selection of works, layout, publicity, and distribution. By providing a forum for the publication of creative work,The Grinnell Review aims to bolster and contribute to the art and creative writing community on campus. Acknowledgments: The work and ideas published in The Grinnell Review belong to the individuals to whom such works and ideas are attributed to and do not necessarily represent or express the opinions of SPARC or any other individuals associated with the publication of this journal. © 2016 Poetry, prose, artwork and design rights return to the artists upon publication. No part of this publication may be duplicated without the permission of SPARC, individual artists or the editors. The Grinnell Review is printed and bound by Colorfx in Waverly, IA. It was designed using Adobe InDesign® CS6. The typeface for the body text is Perpetua and the typeface for the titles is Didot. Cover art: Untitled|Tim Dooley|screenprint Inner cover art: Untitled |Julia Broeker Inner title art: Berry | Leina’ala Voss | digital photograph All editorial and business correspondence should be addressed to: Grinnell College c/o Grinnell Review Grinnell, IA 50112 www.grinnellreview.com


XLVI | Fall 2016 ARTS SELECTION COMMITTEE Hazel Batrezchavez Tim Dooley Ethan Evans Da Jang Hanky Song Zack Stewart Anna Tuchin

EDITORS Serena Hocharoen Eliana Schechter Leina’ala Voss Alejandra Rodriguez Wheelock

WRITING SELECTION COMMITTEE Ethan Evans Nicole Rosengurt


Contents W riting Andrea baumgartel Late Day Saint s Sky Dying Jenkin Benson How to Act Like a Des Moinesian Late Summer Mbira Practice

14 51 45

Kristin Brantley Flour

15

Rachel Buckner Home

34

Eliana Schechter Class Notes on I-80 Grey’s Lake HR for Humans The Wave

44 30 46 56

Josie Sloyan Choices 6

13 48

38

Clara Trippe Multiverse Theory What’s Left Taryn Washburn we could have

29 52 62


A rt Josh Anthony Untitled 41

Let Me Be Your Bethesda Serena 1, 2, 3

50 53

Josh Anthony, Olivia Caro, Halley Freger, Serena Hocharoen Period Piece 54 Hazel Batrezchavez This what a 12-year-old looks like 36 Kim Bougher et 39 Julia Broeker The Not So Virgin Mary 12 Untitled 13

Untitled 49

Sam Burt Grinnell Vignettes 60 Olivia Caro February 25th, 2015 #2

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Tim Dooley Zero 1 15 Xena Fitzgerald Allegories 10 Serena Hocharoen HOME 34 ARMS! 58

BODIES! 59

Fintan Mason

the white pit 64

Sofia Mendez Memoria (proceso) 1, 3

32 7


Sam Nakahira The Butterfly

The Woman in the Painting

21 24

Linnea Schurig Blue 56 Zack Stewart Dawn Chorus 45

Rosetta I, II, III

Leina’ala Voss

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Purple 28 Cannon Beach 43 Fluffy 57

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Letter from the Editors T his year we’re going back to kindergarten-style writing H olla to everyone who submitted this semester and came to the committee meetings!

A ll our gratitude is extended to Jim Sigmon @ ColorFX, shout out ‘N other thanks to SPARC for the $weet $weet dining dollars K isses (the Hershey’s kind) to Friends of Faulconer Gallery for throwing us a release rager

S ynergy, love, and good vibes ~~~~~~ :) with love, -Serena “don’t ever lie to me again” Hocharoen Alejandra “vamos a nunu” Rodriguez Wheelock Eliana “stop throwing your flashcards behind the dresser” Schechter Leina’ala “behave or you’ll sleep outside with the coyotes” Voss 10


“i DONT SAY HELLO OR GOODBYE BECUZ EVERYTHiNG iS 1 FLUiD VERSACE MOTiON OF NEON ENERGY EiTHER U ARE WiTH MY ViBE AT ALL TiMES OR U ARENT” - @jodyhighroller 1:37 AM - 19 Feb 2015

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Untitled 1 or The Wind Whistles a Celestial Tune 12

Untitled 2 or The Young Child Realizes They Belong to Nature, or The Earthly Allegory

Allegories | Xena Fitzgerald| screenprint and metal leaf


Untitled 3 or Venus Visits the Beach/her Birthplace (?)

Untitled 4 or The Skeleton Attends the (Anatomy) Lesson, or Memento Mori 13


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The Not So Virgin Mary | Julia Broeker


Late Day Saints Andrea Baumgartel

On Sundays with my mother’s side we’d fish around the Wil/ lard Bay. We’d scoff at goodytwo-shoes hauling ass to church, and we’d scootch our own across the marsh, barefoot and free to swear as long as Grama couldn’t hear. The aunts and uncles sat and shared a joint adventure gutting trout, and over near the fire sat my cousin Cade, a gaunt and gangly gitar-playin’ hool-i-gan. But cousin Cade converted summers later and none of us heard back from him again. He married fast and blocked us from the altar and Grama Carol cried and died, while sayin’ you only get a happy life by prayin’.

Untitled | Julia Broeker

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How To Act Like A Des Moinesian

Jenkin Benson

A chuckle and a nod—what an agreeable expression! Use it when you exchange recipes. To ensure comity, drive 5mph under the speed limit. Live on the west side, in Urbandale, or Beaverdale. Live blonde. Conversation requires a strategy: cough when the silence asks you for money. An appropriate thrill, a lakehouse anecdote, can fill the lull. Eschew the east side eyesores, the tire factories, all the deflated, neighborhood Santas. A suitable splurge: fitted khakis and a casserole. Always know the acceptable times to feel warm. If you must step off your front porch, remember to remain vigilant. Have confidence; emulate an insurance form.

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Zero 1 | Tim Dooley| ink on laser engraved paper

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February 25th, 2016 #2 | Olivia Caro| newspaper collage on BFK


Flour Kristin Brantley

It was gummy bears this time. Opening the guest bedroom door, I found him sprawled out on the couch, snoring. There weren’t as many cans of beer littered on the floor, which meant that he must have gone down to the bar across the street. His matted salt and pepper hair was in more of a disarray than usual, and he had bruises along the base of his jaw. Lately I’ve been seeing more and more of them. There was a bright yellow mustard stain on his dress shirt that was just an added bonus to the few buttons that were missing. I wondered whether or not the bartender pulled the classic “Rough day?” script once he got there last night. His left hand was gently draped across his torso, while the other was plunged into a half-empty bag of gummy bears instead of his usual box of Lucky Charms--my box of Lucky Charms. “Uncle Andy,” I said his name firmly. Nothing. I called his name again, this time poking him in the shoulder. I bent low, grimacing at the stench of alcohol on his breath. “Andy!” He stirred and turned his body. I jumped out of the way just as he rolled off of the couch and onto the floor with a loud thump. He groaned and glared up at me, like it was my fault for inventing gravity.

“What?” he demanded, “Why are you waking me up so early?” I rolled my eyes, “First of all, it’s three in the afternoon. And second of all, I need to go to my dentist appointment, remember?” Andy sighed and planted his face back onto the floor, “Congratulations. Now do me a favor and turn off the light, will you?” Plopping down onto the floor, I let out an aggravated sigh. I had only been here for a week, and I was already wanting to go back home. To go back to the way things were before mom died. When things were actually okay. “I would love to, but because I don’t have to ability to increase my age by one year, I am legally bound to have an adult accompany me. All you have to do is sign some papers after I’m done. Then you can come back to your,” I paused and looked at the state of the disheveled New York apartment, “humble abode.” Andy groaned and sat up. His back cracked audibly as he got to his knees, then finally to his feet. “Give me a minute,” he said as he shuffled over to his room. I went back into my room and gathered up my coat and my purse and slipped on my converse. Grabbing

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my phone, I headed past his bedroom door and waited, straining my ear to try and listen inside. To be honest, I really didn’t want my uncle to go with me. After not seeing him for nearly ten years, I stopped feeling excited when his name came up in the occasional conversation or Gran’s annual holiday newsletter which focused on how everyone in the family was doing and new recipes she discovered. In a heartbeat, he had become the black sheep of the family when I was seven but gradually found his way back. I decided to wait for him in the hallway rather than pretend I could stand to be in the unkempt apartment. Just as I rounded the corner in the hallway, I nearly bumped into Andy’s neighbor, Kaia, who was busy handling a huge laundry basket full of unfolded clothes. “Oh, hi Kaia,” I smiled. Kaia peeked around the side of the laundry basket and laughed. “Hey there, Jade,” she huffed, “Where you off to, kid?” she asked, noting my coat and bag in hand. “The dentist. I’m just waiting for—” I was cut off by the door to Andy’s apartment creaking open. He stepped out into the hallway, his coat slung over his shoulder and a pair of sunglasses covering his eyes. He spotted me and Kaia and made a quick move to straighten his back before shuffling over to us. “Kaia,” he nodded his head, “you’re looking well.” “And uh…you as well, Andrew,” Kaia smirked, a brief look of playfulness gracing her delicate features. Andy looked down at his shoes, blushing slightly. Kaia had pretty much been as much a part of my life as Andy 20

had. When I was little, she would tag along on our little adventures, and since I started living here, she would help me buy groceries from the corner shop down the street. “Jade here tells me you’re off to take her to the dentist,” she said, gaining Andy’s attention. “Oh uh right. She’s not quite eighteen yet so she needs an adult to be with her and I guess that would be me since I’m looking after her and all. I’m that adult,” he rambled, nervously running a hand through his hair. “Says the guy who had me kill a spider that was in the bathroom two nights ago,” I snorted. Andy sputtered at my statement and looked away from the both of us. “Wow. You just lost a lot of manly points,” Kaia teased. Andy cleared his throat and shrugged. “I’m an arachnophobe. Sue me.” “I just might,” Kaia’s eyes twinkled as the words left her mouth. Andy chuckled, “Well I might just let you.” Wow. “Well nice seeing you, Kaia,” I interrupted their sad attempt at flirtation and tugged on Andy’s arm, “Let’s go.” We hurried towards the stairs, and Andy turned back to look over his shoulder and waved at Kaia just as she shut her door. *** “Can you at least try to act a little sober? You’ve nearly fallen out of your chair twice now,” I sighed, looking cautiously around the waiting area. Andy shifted in his seat and crossed his arms. “You ever been hung-over for forty-eight hours before?” he asked me sleepily. I pinched a page of the


magazine I was busy reading and turned it. I scoffed, “No, I can’t say that I have.” “Well it’s hell,” he nodded, his sunglasses slipping halfway down the bridge of his nose. “You don’t say?” I mused. He nodded again. I pursed my lips. “Then why do it?” “Do what?” “Drink as much as you do,” I continued. “It’s not as hellish as reality,” he shrugged his shoulders, sinking down into the chair again. I rolled my eyes, “Be that as it may, you’ll still suffer the repercussions of it later. Why make it worse?” He looked at me incredulously. “Why did your mom send you to nerd school again?” I smiled and felt a slight tug at my heart, “That’s something she would ask…” I’d be lying if I said living with Andy made things easier for me. He looked a lot like my mom, for one thing and they had the same mannerisms: putting post it notes on the door with reminders to buy something they ran out of, or even their stubbornness. Funny how after not seeing him for so long that it seemed like we’ve always been together. Andy was quiet for a few minutes as he stared down at his feet stretched out in front of him. “I’ve made so many mistakes in my life, Jade. It’s not

like I enjoy feeling like complete shit every morning,” he finally murmured, “I guess I just like to live in the moment.” He didn’t say much after that. I looked up from my reading, spotting my dentist poking his head out of his office door. He had the kind of face that looked like he may have played football in college judging from his slightly crooked nose and a pale scar just above his left brow. Mom always used to call Doctor Reynolds “The Hulk” because he looked like he could “wreak havoc at any moment.” “Jade?” Doctor Reynolds called my name, “You’re next.” I nodded and tossed my magazine back onto the table, spotting a kids puzzle book right next to it. I picked it up and held it in front of Andy’s face. “Here. Try this out. It might be more your speed,” I said smirking at him. He narrowed his eyes at me, but snatched the book out of my hands anyway. “Don’t insult me,” he mumbled. Doctor Reynolds smiled as I got closer and glanced behind me at Andy. His brow furrowed as he cocked his head to the side. “I know you,” he said suddenly, “Marcus, right?

Mom always used to call Doctor Reynolds “The Hulk” because he looked like he could “wreak havoc at any moment.”

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play Spies with Kaia. “It’s almost time for bed, kid,” he had said after we finished dinner. “Aw,” I whined, “but I’m not tired. And it’s still light out.” “No arguing,” he chuckled, tickling me. I giggled and hopped off the chair, running to the bathroom to brush my teeth. By the time I put on my pajamas and snuggled into bed, Andy and already set up my unicorn night light and placed my teddy bear on the side table. He sat on the edge of the bed and placed a kiss on my forehead. “Night, kiddo. Try to stay here in your room like a big girl okay?” I nodded and yawned, snuggling deeper into the warm covers. It had only felt like a *** few minutes before I heard glass shattering against the I hadn’t always thought of Andy as a total screw up. I floor waking me with a start. I sat up and rubbed my used to call him my “super” uncle, because he always played the games that I wanted to play and slipped me eyes, trying to listen to what was happening. Quickly hopping out of my bed, I tiptoed over to the door some extra dessert just before dinner. When I visited and opened it slightly. I saw Kaia pacing in the living with Mom he would take me to get ice cream with Kaia, then to a small park with a playground, a flower room, and Uncle Andy rushing around the apartment. He had a duffle bag slung over his shoulder and was garden and old pond. He always made a quick stop stuffing it with clothes and other odds and ends. into the corner shop to buy a package of bread so I “How long?” he asked Kaia breathlessly. could feed the ducks. That was my favorite part. We “Fifteen minutes,” she answered, tossing him a set did this nearly every weekend. Eventually, we had of car keys. He caught them in one hand and cursed made a game out of it to see who could feed the most ducks. Bonus points if you managed to feed one of the under his breath. Tossing his bag onto the floor, he opened several drawers. Kaia looked on at Andy and swans. I remember the last day I got to have a sleepover at his shook her head. She turned slightly and caught my apartment. I was excited as I packed my Marvel comic eye through the small space in my doorway. Her eyes books, pajamas, and walkie talkies that we could use to widened and she halted her pacing. I stepped into the Marcus Tanner?” he pointed at Andy. I stared blankly at Doctor Reynolds then at Andy. Andy stiffened, pushing his sunglasses further up the bridge of his nose. “Sorry,” Andy cleared his throat, “You must be thinking of someone else.” I thought I might have seen a subtle glare on Doctor Reynolds’s face, but it was quickly replaced with a tight smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. “Perhaps you’re right,” he agreed, “My mistake. Come now, Jade” He ushered me through the door and closed it just as I saw Andy run a shaking hand through his hair.

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living room and looked around at the mess. “What are you doing?” I directed my question to the both of them. Andy spun around at the sound of my voice, his face paled. “Jade,” he breathed. He was quiet as he looked from me to Kaia, trying to gather his words together. He wiped at a few beads of sweat that had formed above his brow. “A trip. I’m going on a trip,” he nodded, “and uh—I’m late. For my plane.” “Are you going on a vacation?” I asked. He didn’t answer and instead continued to stuff things into his bag. “Are you going too?” I asked Kaia. “No, honey,” Kaia said with a small smile. I’m here to stay with you.” She grabbed my hand and led me back to my room. “Let’s leave your uncle to pack,” she murmured. I turned to look back at him just before the door closed and saw him placing some odd substance in the duffle bag. “Is he going to work at a bakery?” I asked Kaia and she tucked me back into bed. Kaia looked surprised for a moment before letting out a soft laugh. “Why do you think that?” she asked curiously. “I saw him put some flour in his bag,” I shrugged. Kaia glanced nervously at the closed door before turning back to me with what I realize now was a sad smile on her face. “I guess you could say that,” she nodded, “but he’ll be back tomorrow. We’ll make pancakes for breakfast

The Butterfly | Sam Nakahira | ink drawings

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when you wake up, okay?” I yawned and nodded. Kaia’s necklace dangled in front of my face as she kissed the top of my head. The gold ring looped through the chain tickled my nose. Eventually I drifted off to sleep. The next morning when Mom came to pick me up, I told her everything that had happened that night and how Uncle Andy went to a bakery with some flour. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I understood why I stopped going over to Uncle Andy’s apartment. He hadn’t gone on a last minute vacation, and he hadn’t been working in a bakery. He wasn’t the super uncle that I thought he was anymore. He was a stranger. When I lost mom, my social worker told me I could either live with Gran in Orlando, which would mean changing schools just before my senior year, or I could stay with Andy, finish up school, get my own apartment, and figure out the rest later. Sometimes I wish I made a different choice. *** “Well as usual, Jade, it looks like you are doing a fine job of keeping those pearly whites healthy. We’ll just do a regular cleaning. ” Doctor Reynolds smiled as he began to gather his tools. My eyes wandered around the minimally decorated room. Two posters hung on the wall—one promoting flossing and the other with a cartoon wisdom tooth wearing sunglasses. “So,” Doctor Reynolds said as he leaned my chair back, “You came here with your uncle, huh? What does he do for a living?” His tone sounded genuinely curious. “He’s an accountant,” I answered automatically— 24

though with all the tubes in my mouth it probably sounded more like I said he was an acrobat. Doctor Reynolds chuckled, “Is that right? Has he always done that?” I shrugged. I really didn’t know that much about Andy. I only knew that he worked for an accounting firm and did something with computers on the side. Twenty minutes later, I found myself heading for the door. “Take care of yourself. And tell your Uncle Marcus—” he cut himself off and looked at my paperwork, “I mean ‘Uncle Andy’ that I said hello.” “Right,” I said distractedly. Stepping back out into the waiting room, I was met by Andy at the door. He looked a bit frazzled as he hurried me along and towards the front desk. “Send Jade’s dental records to this address,” he said curtly, “She has a new dentist. A friend of the family.” “I do—” I started to ask but was cut off by Andy dragging me out the door. We hurried out into the cool autumn air and straight to the car. I pulled the door open and hopped in at the same time Andy slid into the passenger’s side. “Okay what was that about?” I turned to face him, “I’ve never seen you look like a nervous Chihuahua.” “Nothing,” he said, gnawing at his thumb. I could see from the side that it had split and was starting to bleed. “Right, and you really expect me to believe that? You obviously knew my dentist. I bet even a bar of soap could feel the tension between you two.”


“I don’t know. I guess I knew him from a long time ago. Did…did he ask you about me?” “Why? You want to go on a date with him?” He gave me a pointed look that said he really wasn’t in the mood for my sarcasm. I didn’t want to make him any more nervous than he already was. “Not really,” I finally answered, “And anyway even if he did he wouldn’t have gotten much of an answer out of me with all the tubes and cotton stuffed in my mouth.” Andy nodded, “Good.” *** Opening the door to the apartment, I was immediately hit with the smell of onions and garlic on the stove. Kaia was in the kitchen busy putting together lasagna and didn’t notice us come in. “Hey Kaia,” I said putting my bag on the counter, “What are you doing here?” Kaia whirled around and smiled. Her hair was piled up on top of her head in a messy ponytail and she was wearing a pink apron over her hospital scrubs. “Well welcome back,” she said cheerfully, “I thought I’d make some dinner for you two. Lasagna okay?” “Sure,” I nodded. Andy had retreated to his bedroom and shut the door. Kaia asked me what was wrong with him and I proceeded to tell her about what happened at my appointment. She seemed a bit

disturbed when I told her that Doctor Reynolds called Andy by the wrong name twice. “Why do you think he’s like that?” I asked her, hopping onto the kitchen counter. Kaia shrugged. “Who knows with that man,” she sighed. Absentmindedly, she began to toy with her necklace, nibbling on the chain. “Is that an engagement ring?” I asked her. She looked startled for a moment then nodded. “Long story,” she smiled softly. I was about to ask what she meant but stopped short when the doorbell rang. Andy came out of his room and looked at the both of us. He didn’t make any move to answer the door and continued to look at Kaia. I hopped off of the counter and padded over to the door, peering through the peephole. I was caught off guard by the pair of familiar light grey eyes staring back at me. Opening the door, I stared at the tall man. “Well…hi, Doctor Reynolds. What brings you here?” I asked slowly. Doctor Reynolds smiled down at me. There was something about the way his smile didn’t reach his eyes that unsettled me. “Just checking to see if you flossed after dinner,” he chuckled. He glanced behind me, his smile faltering for a brief moment. I turned and saw Andy glaring at him.

“Just checking to see if you flossed after dinner,” he

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The Woman in the Painting

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Sam Nakahira | ink drawings

I hadn’t even heard him move from his spot. “That’s…considerate?” I gave, turning to look at Doctor Reynolds again. I hadn’t felt this much tension in a room since Gran visited Mom and I last spring for Easter. Gran wasn’t even in the apartment five minutes before she started tidying up and asking what “real” food she should cook for dinner. Mom disappeared for about an hour before I found her sitting on the floor of the food pantry with a bottle of red wine next to her and our dog Patch on her lap. Wordlessly, I sat down next to her, and just hoped for a moment’s peace. “Jade,” Andy said bringing me back from my thoughts, “would you mind giving us a moment?” I couldn’t help the pent up frustration that suddenly arose in my chest. What was the point of trying to get to know each other again if it was all based on lies and secrecy? “Actually yes, I do mind,” I said crossing my arms, “You two are nearly at each other’s throats and I have a right to know why.” “No, Jade” Andy’s voice raised, “Room. Now.” “No” I fought back. Andy turned to Kaia with a desperate look on his face. She looked up at him and nodded, wordlessly, as if she understood in an instant what was going on. “Jade, come with me,” she beckoned me towards her. “But—” I protested. “Now,” she demanded. I stalked towards the door and followed her out. “Kaia—” I began but was cut off but her shushing me. She got closer to the door and put her ear against it. I followed her lead and went on the other side. “Your


uncle would kill me for letting you listen,” she sighed. I stayed silent as I listened to the two men in the apartment. “Nice place you got here, Marcus” Doctor Reynolds commented. I could hear the creaking of the floor boards as both men moved around the apartment. “That’s not my name anymore. What do you want?” Andy demanded, his voice cold and clipped. “Choosing a fake name is such a cliché. Anyway can’t a guy catch up with an old friend?” Doctor Reynolds asked using a fake friendly tone. Andy scoffed, “Friend. We knew each other for a day, Reynolds. Don’t flatter yourself. “And what a day that was. But that’s too bad. Had you waited around the office this afternoon I would have bought you a drink,” he said with a sigh. “What do you want,” Andy repeated impatiently. “It’s funny. I just so happened to run into your old boss today and I may or may not have told him that I saw one of his old employees in my office. He said that he missed you and wanted to see you again. I figured I’d pass along the message to you. Common courtesy, you know?” “How kind of you,” Andy spat. I didn’t like where this was going. I could tell from the look on Kaia’s face that she didn’t either. “Yes,” Doctor Reynolds agreed, “And I think it would be in your best interest to go and see him. After all, there is that matter of forty thousand dollars.” A chill ran down my spine. “I’ve avoided him for this long and I can damn well do

it again,” Andy said coldly. “That should look good on Jade’s college apps. ‘Uncle puts me in danger but tries his best,’” Doctor Reynolds chuckled, “Boss told me to go for your weakness if you refuse need be.” “You’re working for him now,” Andy said more of a statement than a question. “Well I was his best customer back in the day.” I heard the smirk in his voice and grimaced. “You could do something for me around the office,” he continued “Then this would all be forgotten.” “I don’t have a weakness so you’re just wasting your time,” Andy said matter-of-factly. There was a moment of brief silence before Doctor Reynolds spoke again. “Hmm…” he pondered, “That’s too bad. Although that niece of yours…” “Careful” Andy warned. My breathing slowed. “It would be a shame if something unfortunate were to happen sometime soon…” *** Kaia had had enough, and dragged me to her apartment, closing the door quietly. She started to pace the length of the living room, glancing at the door every so often. “You know what he’s doing, don’t you?” I said after a few silent moments. Kaia halted her pacing and was silent. I searched her face for any sign of guilt but found none. “You must,” I continued, “Is it like last time? When I was here that one night? He was dealing—” 27


“Jade, stop,” Kaia said coolly, “I shouldn’t be the one to tell you. Just know that he’s a good person and that those ten years without you were the worst years of his life. I was there to pick up the pieces, and in the process I learned things that neither you nor anyone else knows.” “If you didn’t love him so much would you tell me what’s going on?” I asked. Kaia glanced at the door and sighed. “He’s not that easy to love, you know.” She began to play with her necklace again. “You’re married, aren’t you?” I asked, “Or at least you were.” Kaia was silent. “Yes,” she said after a beat. “To him?” “Yes.” “How long?” “About twelve years,” she answered. I sat back on the couch, processing everything. “So are you…divorced?” I wondered aloud. It occurred to me that the two of them hadn’t been living together even when I used to come over when I was younger. “It’s complicated. Legally we are still married, but he suggested living apart to protect me,” she murmured. “From what?” “His mistakes.” *** An hour passed, and the door to Andy’s apartment finally opened. Kaia and I rushed to the door and 28

opened it, seeing Doctor Reynolds’ retreating figure go slowly down the stairs. Back in the apartment, Andy was looking out the window, his back facing us. When I got closer, Andy turned. His face looked ashen and worn. Sitting me down next to him on the couch he began to tell me about his past without my having to ask him. According to him, he had been a dealer way back in the day as a way to make money for college. Without realizing it, he had gotten in too deep and found himself doing more and more jobs even after he graduated. “When you had seen me that one night getting ready to make another delivery, something clicked. I knew that this wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore,” he nodded, “But leaving isn’t that simple. I was getting ready to go right when our biggest deliveries were scheduled. Naturally I knew that I wouldn’t be let off the hook. So I went to Europe. Travelled. Made it seem like I was off the grid.” “Mom said you were in rehab,” I said. “I suppose in a way I was,” he smiled softly, looking up at Kaia. He had met Kaia one night after one of his deliveries. He had failed to get one of the packages delivered in time and ended up with a black eye, split lip, and a few cracked ribs. Kaia found him leaning against the door to his apartment right after her shift at the hospital. Six months later they were married. “So now what? What does he want you to do?” I asked. Andy looked back at me and smiled softly. “He wants me to be a part of a big delivery in San Diego,” he said. I shuddered at the thought of him


having to deal with this again. knee, he was there. When I lost mom, he let me into his “You’re not going to do it though, right?” I questioned home without any hesitation. He was my hero. He was him, “It’s not safe.” my uncle. “No. I’ll figure my way out of this,” he said finally. I let out the breath I was holding and nodded. Andy suggested we forget about what happened and instead enjoy our dinner. Kaia stayed with us and now that everything was out in the open, I felt that I would be able to get closer with the both of them. Maybe even call Kaia “Aunt Kaia.” She laughed at my suggestion and told me she would love that. During the next day while I was at school, I began to feel a bit uneasy. I attributed it to the events of last night, but there was still a feeling in the back of my mind that wouldn’t go away. I found out why when I got back to the apartment. The minute I opened the door, I found Kaia in the kitchen again, making some soup. It was too quiet and all the lights were off except for those in the kitchen. “He’s doing it, isn’t he?” I guessed immediately. Kaia continued to chop the vegetables in front of her. “Of course he is,” she sighed, “That idiot.” Her chopping was becoming more and more erratic. I tossed my backpack onto the floor and kicked it away. “He left me again. Why does everyone leave me?” I cried out, suddenly. “No,” Kaia said turning to face me, “Jade, don’t you dare. You know why he left.” I did know. It didn’t help to fill the void that was burrowing its way through my chest. He was always someone who protected me: whether it was a bad dream or a bad scrape on my 29


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Purple | Leina’ala Voss | digital photograph


Multiverse Theory Clara Trippe

The bugs outside of the screen door hang on with eyelash-thin legs, and flicker at any sudden movements. You bought plastic plates that sound like ceramic cracking when you drop them on the floor. Your shirt sticks to your lower back and your shoulders shine: something golden in the setting sun, your body wispy and dreamy like all beautiful things left out at the end of the day. “God loves you� and you believe it too, and you believe in salvation and dead sea scrolls. Your soul is rose gold and ready for judgement day. The hours pass the way they should: chronological and unfailing. The bugs leave. You do not think of them: cicadas tunneling underground and butterflies migrating across oceans; you do not think of them as escape, you do not think of escape. You wait. Your dreams are quiet, undisturbed.

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Grey’s Lake Eliana Schechter

Attention, aquatic hitchhikers: if you close your eyes you can pretend smell saltwater. The water ripples in plaid motions, navy blue thread overlapping evergreen algae. Further out, a teenage girl stands – black plastic paddle not touching water – on a white board as a blond toddler slickly paddles his little boat back to shore. For a moment, Iowa is an Alex Katz painting with its people frozen in time.

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Rosetta I, II, and III | Zack Steward | screenprints

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Memoria (proceso) 1 | Sofia Mendez | digital collage


Memoria (proceso) 2 | Sofia Mendez | digital collage

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Home Rachel Buckner

The white dandelion seeds play hide and seek. Our effortless laughter echoes like concentric circles. Circles repeat, like the creaking steps of intimacy. The white walls reminisce about when he held me, and held up the structure of my memories. Breathe in the sweet smell of freshly baked cookies. Celia dials the home phone to ask if we can play. Imprints rest on the brazen purple chair. Rests her prickling bald head bouncing in the moonlight. Brother, play the soulful tune. Mournful jazz sparks that smile. My smile, wipes as the music fades. The piano key slips through my fingers, Scrambling to strike a minor chord Take one final breath of Wellington’s nostalgic dewy air. Blink in the sweeping image. Pieces of the dandelion seed crumble in my hand. 36

HOME (encasing) | Serena Hocharoen


HOME | Serena Hocharoen| screenprints on handmade paper, mounted on wood

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This is what a 12 year old looks like | Hazel Batrezchavez | screenprint, vinyl on cardstock


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Choices Josie Sloyan

When they met they fell in love and decided to get married and all of a sudden they were in California. The successive events were short and definitive as knife wounds. His father was dying and needed someone to stay with him in his home outside Fresno. He flew out first. His father died. She followed in a car out of whose windows stuck lamps and drying racks and antique chairs snitched from her ma’s house. The backseat was lined with Styrofoam mannequin heads that held her wigs. Each wig demarcated an event. That day she wore a red wig because during her threeday drive late summer had snapped dramatically into fall. Her real hair was flyaway brown and cut in an unfeminine bob. When she pulled up the front yard was covered in leaves and it was a real house with a real live front yard and patio and fireplace and garage. Just like that: bills, gas, his dead dad’s Jeep. The dream had weight and a shape. At night he lay his head alongside her stomach as though they were expecting and listened to what he pictured as a little train chug and gurgle through her stomach, unknotting, detangling, until she got impatient and twisted away and started making digestion jokes in the dark. 40

She threw herself into domesticity. Their house filled with animals. They had three cats named after presidents and two dogs, a bluetick retriever mutt and a sloe-eyed Lab. She had her eye on a bulldog puppy. She showed a picture to her fiancée. That dog’s really ugly, honey, he said doubtfully. Baby, she said. She was wearing a blond wig when they bought the dog. The dog snapped at the wig’s complex braids. Little shit, she said cheerfully. They named this dog Divine. She was in a John Waters phase. She began to realize she most loved the smallest fragments of her life, beats so short there was no space to project unhappiness or anxiety on them, moments that could be cut and shown in any respectable detergent ad or family sitcom. Sun cutting through the blinds. Her fiancée on the patio yawning clouds into the frozen morning. A perfect sangria. A birthday cake haloed with candles. The world of perfect moments could be reached through food. She bought cookbooks and baking pans and a whipped-cream shaker that could be flavored with lavender or persimmon or rose essence. She bought a stand-alone mixer. She put off the actuality of the cake in order to deepen the idea of the cake, the dream of the cake. Each recipe took days.


et | Kim Bougher | digital

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The icing and batter had to be refrigerated overnight at least. Then the cake had to be refrigerated all together so it could solidify. She knew it had something to do with settling molecules. The next day she’d dip a knife in steaming water and smooth it over the cake again and again to melt down the lumps in the icing. Imperfections vanished. She produced the flattest whitest cakes she or any of her friends had ever seen. She was a star at parties. A coworker said the cake looked like printer paper. Like untouched snow. She almost hated to cut into it. Here was the apical moment. The first slice came out smooth, thick, beautiful. The middle layer was stained deep with blueberries. Then it was over. She ate a lot of cake but didn’t much enjoy it. Is that lemon zest? another girl asked. She tried to remember. She couldn’t remember. All really good cake sort of tasted the same. That looks great, her fiancée said. He didn’t like sweet things. She thought about all the men in her life who made a point of not liking sweet things. He ordered a lot of delivery pizza. She would take breaks between mixing and baking to watch him tear into a pizza with Zen singlemindedness, folding slices in half, stacking slices,

hissing the food’s steam back through his teeth in animal surprise, chewing half-open to save the roof of his mouth. You don’t want any? she asked again. The cake was honey-ginger-carrot with a creamy orange glaze. Nah, you go ahead, he said. It’s your cake, babe. She looked at the cake and felt sick. It was overwhelming. Its pate gleamed with honey and grated orange peel. I’ll take it to work, she said. By this time, she had increased her recipe time to six or even seven days. He was distracted, enthusiastic, forgetful, loudly sensible. He said he knew a guy who could maybe hook her up with a cool bakery job. He listened to his friends’ postulations about global relations and philosophical claims with more silence than interest. One had the feeling when talking to him that he had retreated into a kind of pleasant enclosure of his own thoughts. He began

She knew it had something to do with settling molecules. The next day she’d dip a knife in steaming water and smooth it over the cake again and again to melt down the lumps in the icing.

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refutations with: Well, I think, or else: No, what I’m saying is. In this way he accumulated many friends who had the same pleasant glazed expression and nodded amiably at his fiancée like she was an animated figurine. When he wasn’t at work he was in the garage writing songs. He said When we’re famous and Once we’re rich half-jokingly and half with an enormous vague intentionality that ballooned around his consciousness like a badly pinned sheet. His songs were either about the corrupt women he’d slept with in his degenerate past or about his one true girl. His friends supported him. They wanted to help him get a mixtape out. His half-intentionality drove him crazy. He wished he could either be entirely carefree or else entirely devoted to art. If he could be totally one thing or totally the other, he could consider himself successful. He fell into a little spell of depression. He noticed the house’s grime and pet hair and general unpleasantness like it was all new. He began an aggressive campaign to take the house back. Spiders fled their corners and were immediately eaten by the cats. The vacuum coughed and rattled with pennies. She was a casual cleaner, a miss-the-corners cleaner, and now he went through each room with precision so microscopic and unflagging she wondered if he’d come from a military family. She had made a point of not asking about his family and now halfregretted it. She started to speak in long half-sentences that broke and splintered as doubts and neuroses coagulated her stream of thought.

Untitled | Josh Anthony | ink on paper 43


One morning they walked into town. After a month of fall, the cold was sinking into the trees and making itself at home. The air was so still and frozen they felt like intruders blinking into the bright outdoor cold. They walked in silence. She hadn’t worn a wig for fear the cold might fray or freeze it. His hands were raw with cold and shone from wiping his nose. At the corner of Market and 23rd they stopped inside a coffee shop they’d never seen before. Gentrification, he said wisely. The old man alone behind the counter made their coffees. He had a little raisiny face like her late grandfather. As the old man passed the coffees over he said: Listen, if I said you could change the course of your lives, would you want to? They looked at him. He was smiling. She asked what he meant. If you could do something differently, he said. If you had the chance. A do-over. She felt a shift in her thinking she hadn’t felt since pre-proposal, pre-fiancée, a conception of self without this other. She skimmed back through what she considered pivotal events and found herself in memories that seemed to have nothing to do with her. Chasing baby praying manti in wet North Carolina heat. Crying at a music festival while the performing Euroband dissolved at the edges into acidy tendrils. He was remembering playing guitar at a local store in while the owner watched and later shook his hand and said Keep it up. They slipped briefly from together-life into apart-lives. Which point could be traced directly to his and her discontent? What course could have maximized 44

their individual happinesses? Hopefully this was that course. She felt the long nasty pull in her stomach towards out, other, away. Well probably she’d made the right choices. Whatever that meant. Otherwise. She didn’t say anything but smiled politely. The store was dark and overwarm. They paid for the coffees and went outside. He’d forgotten where he wanted to go. The frost steamed heat off their faces. Her face was


Cannon Beach | Leina’ala Voss | digital photograph 45


Class Notes on I-80 Eliana Schechter

And you are rushing through, the fixed shadow trees on the highway hems, the consistent rumble of the airplane concrete, fuzzy canvas seats soaked in the staleness of dried newspapers and leftover health drink cans. You’re noticing the unnoticeable, only meaningful given the inversion. Eliade’s question: how can non-religious people experience ‘space’ when (if?) they “reject the sacrality of the world”? Off the ramp, past the sign declaring that you’ve reached the jewel of the prairie & towards Kum&Go’s illuminated sign that offers a kind of home. What do we mean when we say ‘modernity’?

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The church on 5th and East towers at night, its LED-backed stained glass dude the only light on the street. Something about that feels unnatural. Flat Iowa streets with an expansiveness that leaves you expecting to see all the way down. Unanswerable questions. Gaonkar writes, “But everyday life, as Baudelaire recognized, is an elusive object: it is concrete, but fragmentary; it is immediately present, but in flux.” These days feel muted. Oddly, I sleep more peacefully than ever.


Mbira Practice Jenkin Benson Sidling the lawn lakes, I hear March thaw. The season plinks like deftly crafted iron tabs. The lamb breezes undulate like seashells and bottlecaps against the instrument’s mottled board.

Dawn Chorus| Zack Stewart| pencil on paper

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HR for Humans Eliana Schechter

I. Imagine the sirens are lullabies. This eccentric Waste Land with its blurred sunrises and blistering metal birdhouses that refract tiny rainbows at the squirrel taking the liberty to eat the free seeds. The same rainbows dance on the sand-grain stained train window as it zooms past Mountain Avenue, East Orange, Orange, Newark Broad St., Secaucus, to New York Penn Station. For a moment you consider Instagramming the windows, before remembering you owe the company a picture for the #officeanywhere Instagram.

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II. Desiccated fields of green lay beneath the turbine wing, from above the concrete paths appear like the lines each braid created on your head – close and burning. An ad on the radio advocates, “Improve your garden’s performance!” Privatize Nature in your own backyard. If you just improved that garden, maybe everything else would fall into place.


III. It wears a little American flag sticker, to be specific number 4013. Even fruit can be patriotic when reduced to a number. Hold it in the sun for a moment, watch the shimmery reflection dance, before returning to the hub of artificial light or what they call a ‘harmonious work environment.’ Feel the slight squish, tumble over the calcified orange bumps. Add value to your readers’ lives.

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Sky Dying Andrea Baumgartel

“Special Offer! Flying Lessons! Spots Left: 1!” Sings the billboard, looking two times as bright as the swiss cheese three miles away on the dark pavement, waiting four blocks from the person who dropped it five minutes ago on the corner of 6th. They won’t return, of course, since time isn’t as soft as cheese and not one of us has been hardened to fight against that drive to fly. Or to go left or right or anywhere but forwards through this crowded sky so high the trees can’t even begin to touch the threads on my jacket swaying like a six year old caught in a lie. I haven’t forgotten the protocol that everyone breathes, but I still don’t know how to really fly. You don’t either. When we turned 5 or so they told us we’d be fried 50

by the moon’s gameface if the threat of drifting off orbit was too easy to ignore. So with stones for compasses and sticks for wings we, like our predecessors who never won, continue bleating on, the euphoria of herding every second a pulse in this fourchambered atmosphere. And it’s just fine that we can’t see past seeds stitched on a strawberry until we bite it, or find what we threw away onto the dark sidewalk that sits with its mouth wide open; its snaggletooth obscured by the swiss cheese that was too big to fit in someone’s sandwich. Fortunately, in the end it doesn’t matter that we’re motion sick, elastic, and unable to fly. Three billboard lightbulbs aren’t even turned on: “The third time’s the charm!” but we only have a first.


Untitled | Julia Broeker

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Let Me Be Your Bethesda | Josh Anthony | stills from a collaborative video with Sarah Hubbard milk, turmeric, metal tray

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Late Summer Jenkin Benson

It ends with crickets chirpingeatingfucking, dying their blondish chitin death in the pool drain. It ends with a miserable fail son sex stain looking like tar and ethanol and lime juice on beige bed sheets. It ends with the innocuous Calibri default. Syllabi, scalp scabs, and mildewed Lipton bags pile upwards. 53


What’s Left Clara Trippe

I wrote you the words left after midnight, old, thick syllables and the cold they leave behind your teeth. This moment: you curled yourself around your center like you’re fragile and newborn; your spine rising from your back like a city. I will leave you quietly, when you least expect it, for the tortoiseshells left bleaching in the sun. All their softness has been eaten away, all that’s left is brittle. They don’t keep me warm at night, but the sound they make when the wind stirs is so beautifully hollow. I’d leave anything tender for that emptiness, that reliable wind, a permanent, bodiless bone. 54


Serena | Josh Anthony| digital scan of Serena Hocharoen’s breath on transparency film, house paint, acrylic sheets

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Period Piece | Halley Freger, Serena Hocharoen, Olivia Caro, Josh Anthony | video stills ; frozen menstrual blood and laser engraved popsicle sticks

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The Wave Eliana Schechter

AOL had that old wind up screech that circled through the sturdy speakers as if it held the secret to making dial-up go faster and my heart rate slower as I waited to see who was online with irreverent hope. Now I watch the melted green telephone spin around the same imaginary point in carefree circles, almost as if it’ll fall off the imaginary holder. Imagine scenes of friendships that magically resume where they fell off, like that one coffee-stained bookmark that always stayed in place until one day it didn’t. Watch the Crayola telephone stop spinning. Move on with your day, buy a new bookmark.

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Blue | Linnea Schurig | watercolor


Fluffy | Leina’ala Voss | digital photograph

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ARMS! | Serena Hocharoen | acrylic paint, colored pencil on handmade abaca paper


BODIES! | Serena Hocharoen | acrylic paint, colored pencil on handmade abaca paper

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Grinnell Vignettes | Sam Burt| ink and watercolor 62


Aspen Rachel Buckner

Aspen clutches a breath of chilling air Swarm the depths of her lungs Steadfast compressions engulf her feet Seep between the cool ground and her frosted toes An abrupt force thrusting her stiff body off the earth’s surface Gravity dissolving between her fingertips She twitches her eye towards a fruit fly The fly hums above the fluttering leaves Further breath submerges Aspen Propelled into a novel panorama The haunted bricks relinquish their constraints Reinfuse heels, the grass of the earth The film of fog evaporates endowing a crisp clarity beneath her brow

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we could have Taryn Washburn

i wish we had pollinated her taken some of her sweet nectar and scattered it between us over the world and into our unassuming brains rubbed our legs in her notebooks and papers picking up on our toes the yellow dust supple and soft pack it into pods to keep like white fertilizer pellets designed to make things grow old we could have run our fingers through her hair i still see it around sometimes curly and puffed out coat our hands in her scent her signature is scrawled across that room maybe if we’d convinced her to put it on paper instead we could have saved her we could have pollinated her scattered her scrawlings across our campus and beyond maybe 64


we could have stretched her out in a flowerbed her pollen dropping into our open mouths her supporters maybe we could have saved her slipped the chair back beneath her feet so her neck never had the chance to stretch out so her true loves tattooed now in her honor didn’t have to find her report her mourn her without any time to pollinate her maybe that way she could have outlasted us and her own demons she could have given us her pollen so we could have known so we could have helped even a little bit of her outlast us

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The White Pit | Fintan Mason | stairway 66


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Contributors

Tim Dooley ‘17 is a little confused.

Josh Anthony ‘17 will be your cheerleader forever.

Xena Fitzgerald ‘17 I love art.

Hazel Batrezchavez ‘17

Halley Freger ‘17 is a fourth-year art major, who primarily works with film and video. She explores ideas of identity and body from feminist, queer, and Marxist lenses.

Andrea Baumgartel ‘19 is only half joking when she says that Grinnell should fund a skydiving club (But srsly people, it would be so fun). Jenkin Benson ‘17 is an English/Political Science double major from Los Angeles, California. Kim Bougher ‘16.5 studiert Kunstgeschichte und Sprachwissenschaft. She just went to the National Landscape Gallery. Her favorite swimming style has always been the brushstroke.

Serena Hocharoen ‘17 :/ Fintan Mason ‘17 Sofia Mendez ‘19 doesn’t know what she’s doing Eliana Schechter ‘17 is slowly but surely replacing all the water in her body with matcha.

Kristin Brantley ‘17 is an English major and aspires Linnea Schurig ‘17 is two thirds D-Hall Happy to become the next Shonda Rhimes. Shapes and one third existential angst. Julia Broeker ‘17

Josie Sloyan ‘18

Rachel Buckner ‘18 doesn’t believe in dinosaurs.

Zack Stewart ‘17 is the unpopped kernels at the bottom of the popcorn bag known as Auburn, Iowa

Sam Burt ‘17 has made the switch to whole milk. Olivia Caro ‘17 has embraced the color red. 68

Clara Trippe ‘18


Leina’ala Voss ‘18 is a hapa haole and proud of it. Taryn Washburn ‘20 is a prose writer and poet in the class of 2020 who has previously been published in several literary magazines, including Bufo and Ealain.

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Profile for The Grinnell Review

The Grinnell Review Fall 2016  

The Grinnell Review Fall 2016  

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