Megan McShea


Should you ever find this feeling broken and dark, apply bleach to its forelegs, there by the grainy edge, and hold under cold water for about a minute. If you let it dry in the window’s natural light, a great glow will fill your heart, like a pearly munchkin aura beating up on the dark visages of alkie fuzzies. Bleat out your trombone when you hear the skinny wailing from the back of the store. This will ward off any snakes in the area. But ultimately, when the need arises, there will be no stopping it. A tiny brightness will appear in the mirror, slowly rotating around itself, making a moat-like pattern that mesmerizes and fascinates you. It will be the most interesting thing you have ever seen, and you will not be able to look away. Then a sinewy substance will begin to form in the spaces between you and other water-bearing objects. You will feel proud and even secure, but then almost without realizing it, you will have become cut off from everything around you, and then you will hear her silky voice, the voice of the heart-eating siren, and she will tell you to bring me to her. Do not let this happen. Do not come to me at that point. It will be too late for you, and I am sorry for that, but leave me out of it. I will be long gone anyway, and I’m not telling you where. If it pretends to thank you, just go along with it. Under that ugliness lies a great sadness, and under the sadness, that’s the best part for meat.

Take those handsome tremors that start in the second month of treatment, and be sure to blend into a smooth paste. Jam all your jitters into a secret wall box, what the old desert healers used to call a plum pot. Be on the radio. Then when everything seems quiet, call the authorities and demand a hearing. Prepare statements. Hire representatives and expert witnesses. For so many days all efforts must be directed at a single purpose. When the day arrives, no one will show. It will be the most colossal blow-off of all time. A distant trumpet. The damp fog of dissipated purpose. A few of the guards will seem to be whispering behind your back. Have them fired. Bake muffins. Studies show that half of all moths want to get closer, and the other half is wary.

Megan McShea is the author of two chapbooks, Yarn and Recipes for Greatness. Her writing has also appeared in The Shattered Wig Review, SUCCESS!, I Am My Own Twin and the I.E. Reader. She lives in Baltimore and is currently working on a book of collaborative, experimental writing.

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