Issue #7 July 2016
Detail from Dangling by Amy Casey

Kathleen Maris

[A Piece of Junk Mail Came in From the Local Chevrolet Dealer]

A piece of junk mail came in from the local Chevrolet dealer with images of banner-sized checks and pixilated winners. The final picture was empty with a big question mark over it. Who will be the next happy winner? She’d probably do the same thing as everyone else with five thousand dollars: buy Seventh Generation unscented dish soap, the idea of a future, and the $25 hard cover Collected Vallejo at Sheafe Street Books. She took her winning number in and ended up with a $5 Walmart gift card.

Minnesota Mike was an all right guy. He kind of had a soft handshake. He said, I’ve sold a whole lotta cars this week. I really don’t have to sell anymore. Now, tell me, he said, What would your ideal monthly payment be? She paused. Truly, she didn’t want a car. Suddenly, she remembered how embarrassed she was when her dad once dragged her into a Toyota dealership to get free Utah Jazz tickets and she couldn’t believe she’d just done the same thing for a $5 Walmart gift card.

She drove to the Piscataqua River in her 237,000-mile Volvo and discovered thousands of herring migrating north, migrating back to their birth place to spawn. In case you don’t know, it’s a silvery kind of light. You must get your eyes to adjust. A striped bass jumped out of the water, herring in mouth. She put her glasses in her pocket. Yeah, that fish is the winner.

Do You Remember Me?

After the war, the ossified couple wanted water, food, and music.
They loved diminutives, coffee, and the manipulation of light.
She loved nothing public, though she’d offer it a ribbon.
After their children’s children were grown, her notebook was found,
and we all of us sheltered under the spray of anima throat hordes.
She asked, Fallow Grass, is our yellowing a color, too?
She pedaled, Yes, John, I am your wife.  Kennst du mich noch?
She never wrote that he died, she simply wrote, The End.
Yet in the hospital, after her eight years alone and unopened,
I thought, Catherine Genevieve, there’s a feather in your breathing.