Quiet forest where the snapping of one branch will cause Mother Nature to turn her head. A doe with neck stooped down gently drinking from a stream, raises up and pauses. Eyes wide and minimally blinking. There is the sound of rushing water, birds chirping, the rustling of branches in the wind. She has cute little ears that stick up, oscillating, turning, confirming. Nostrils of her black nose flare and pulse. Hooves hold their ground. If you could only hear her heart beating fast. Internal drum that marks the rhythm of every movement and emotion. Her collective unconscious knows the sound could mean death. There are no diplomatic channels when it comes to the hunter and the hunted.

Her child, a baby fawn, peers out of a leafy bush. Nose also pulsing, seeming to ask if it’s okay to come out. Doe scans the area once more with her eyes and finding nothing, permits young Fawn to come have a drink by the water. White spots dot the fawn’s tan backside. A bushy white tail freely bounces back and forth in the joy of a cool drink.

A buck appears with strong irreconcilable antlers. He is towering and formidable. Protectively, he steps in front of his family. Hearing no sound he still makes a point to scan the area, to make sure it’s okay for him to come off his guard for a single minute so he may also take a drink. Satisfied with the visual landscape, he also bends his head, his horns a crown he wears that bears the burden of fatherhood.

The forest smells of wood and earth and decomposing leaves. Pines also pervade, evergreen trees. Smells a car air freshener couldn’t even begin to accurately capture. There is no difficulty on a deep inhale such as this.


translucent fossil glowing with the compression of time. a fly stuck in the sap slowly dripping down the side of a sticky maple tree. I hold the glowing stone in my hand and squeeze it a little harder to confirm its energy. A color that is perhaps, translucent gold. It probably is its own color in a 96-count Crayola box. A good color for the hair of a Disney princess. She’s walking down the stairs with big, captivating eyes and a pink dress.

Streaks of sunlight reach across the sky on a local sandy beach. Even if no one witnesses it, it is there and it is humbling and beautiful – except for the drunk who is still hungover and miserable. Clutching an interior towel rod and groaning at the fact that he forgot to close the curtain of his hotel room. How much poison must we put inside ourselves before it all comes out, begging to be released? Sometimes it does not ask. The body knows when it’s had enough. Best not to let it get to that point in the first place.

If Armageddon raises the dead, will these fossils find their bearings? Will the amber melt away and


Blue scrubs and the beeping of a heart monitor. In the distance, rolling wheels and frantic voices. The pump of the Purell dispenser. Keyboards clacking. Footsteps. Murmurs. Lights loudly click on. Hearing fading. Vision blurring into two dark tunnels with no traffic. Until they are black marbles in the dark. Incisions are made, but not before intravenous anesthesia, which has now taken full effect. IVs full of hydration and drugs – liquid and necessary. Taking out a heart and replacing it with one other than your own. What does it mean, when your own heart has failed you? You should die on default? Yes, medical science is truly a marvel and why not save a life when you can. But when your own body says “no” to you? Maybe it’s for a reason? Don’t save my life! I deserve to die! Leave me hear on this table as I float about the room in circles and haunt this surgery bay forever! Doctors work in silence, occasionally calling out for different scalpels and equipment. It’s just the breathing machine and the breathing of the doctors, nurses, and medical staff. Wife anxiously waits in the waiting room. Hands closed in prayer when her nails so deep in her skin give birth to a little blood. Startled she lets go, but wrings them. Wondering if she really should attempt to read a magazine to distract herself. “30 Ways To Get Fit + Recipes!” Feeling as she did she could vow never to eat again and mean it. The room, pale yellow with antiquated green pleather furniture. She’s the only one. It’s late. The windows are pitch black. If she cups her hands against the window to look out, she sees a few lampposts. Can make out trees and bushes if she really tries. But from where she’s sitting, it’s just the black. Moving in and getting darker and deeper with each passing planetary spin and rotation. The florescent lights are too bright. She wishes there was a dimmer switch. Numb mind. Tired and fatigued.


Pink liquid spilling into silver-colored spoon goes in my mouth and down my throat like velvet. Tastes like bubblegum. Strange solace when we’re sick. After throwing up and that sense of triumph once it’s over. From 0 to stormy at sea in 60 seconds. A kiss when you’ve just spilled you heart to someone. Hand holding at a moment when you think you’re all alone in the world. Crackers and tea on an upset stomach. Meditation cure headache. Orgasm cure headache. A hug when feeling down. Blowing on a spoonful of hot soup. Highs everlasting. Picture perfect sunset, so stunning you don’t even bother trying to take a picture of it. The moon, when it hangs low and large in the early morning sky. Those magic moments. Hot water bottle resting on cramps. Sleep. Anxiety release. Pain release. Back rubs. Puppy belly rubs. Heat when it’s cold. Air conditioning on the hottest summer day. Water when thirsty on the hottest summer day. Ice clinking against a fresh glass.


To clip a bird’s wings for the sake of keeping them in a cage was thought by Nigel to be a barbaric act. Yet here he is was in the hoarded home of a serial wing clipper. It smelled of woodchips and birdseed. The kind of familiar pet store smell, that makes the nose want to stop working, stop smelling. It halts the olfactory senses and begs the body to go outside and get some fresh air. The warm air hung in the room, filled with incessant tweeting and the vibration of little bird feet clinging from bar to bar of their cage. The rustle of the feathers, shaking them open and loose. Multiplied by at least 27 birds, the sound was deafening. Nigel would have to free them all. The man in question was not home, which frankly made it all the easier. Limping over to the first cage, he found the latch and laid his hand on it. But where would the birds go once they’d be freed? He had to open a window, a door – both. Dragging his left foot slightly behind his right, he made is way over to where he had entered, taking a nearby stack of books and propping the door open. Once secure, he made his humble way across the room, but struggled opening the window. It felt like it hadn’t been opened in years. Quite stuck. Nigel closed his eyes and pushed upwards with all his might, straining. He budged. Just enough where there was a crack. Suddenly, he heard a car door slam. His heart jumped into his throat, blood pulsed in his ears. Was he home so soon? Nigel tried to talk himself down. It could just be a neighbor. The reverberation of the street isn’t always accurate as to where the sound is coming from; It could have been the next street over. Nigel’s hands started to sweat. He could feel each individual bead form in pinpricks on his palm. He would have to start releasing the birds, hoping they’d find the front door, and deal with the window later. He took the nearest cage and opened it. “Come on, little fella. Don’t you want to be free?” The yellow and green parakeet looked at him with beady eyes and lightly chirped to him.

“Nigel, what you are you doing? These birds can’t fly.”