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Poetry Feature: “Aubade in Which the Bats Tried to Warn Me” by Traci Brimhall

Aubade in Which the Bats Tried to Warn Me

You used to recite the parts of my body like psalms.

I should have known when you started to kiss

with your eyes closed that your mouth would ruin us.

 

And I should have known when you slipped belladonna

in my buttonholes, when you started to bring me empty boxes,

when I found her dog asleep under our house.

 

She told me about someone she’d been sleeping with, and the someone

was you. At first, I didn’t tell you I knew. I came home,

and you were slicing rhubarb

 

and strawberries. You put sugared hands on my neck

and kissed my forehead.No, it happened like this.

When you fucked me, I could feel

 

how much you hated me. And you came. And I came twice. You stayed

on top of me and softened inside me as you kissed

my shoulders. I stayed awake to watch

 

you sleep and thought about the stories your parents told about you.

The wildfire you started. How you broke your mother’s birdhouses.

How your father paid you to kill bats,

 

a dollar a body. Last summer you let me watch.

As you waited with a racket, timber wolves announced

the moon, bats crept out of the attic.

 

The soft pulp of their bodies struck the house. Your father swatted

your back, handed you five bucks, and I went to pick up

the bats. One still shuddered

 

against the cinderblock. I should have left, but I didn’t. I crushed

its head with a rock and tossed it into the woods and went inside

and washed my hands and lied to you.

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ANNOUNCING THE INAUGURAL DON BELTON SELECTION

 

This year, Indiana Review and Indiana University Press expanded the Blue Light Books partnership to include the Don Belton Fiction Reading Period. Thanks to everyone who sent novels, novellas, and short story collections! It really was an honor to read your work. We’re excited now to announce the inaugural selection, set for publication in Fall 2019:

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“A Bridge to Some Other Possibility”: Interview with Bryan Borland & Seth Pennington

 

Indiana Review is accepting submissions to the 1/2 K Prize until August 15, 2018. Final judges Bryan Borland and Seth Pennington will select a winner to receive $1000 and publication. Essence London, who shares Arkansas with them as home, asks them to talk a bit about writers they love and collaboration and refreshing images. Though they are in conversation here primarily as editors, know too that they are writers and that you can find their latest work on their respective websites: bryanborland.com and sethpennington.com.

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