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..:: CONTENTS ::..

   Volume VI, Issue II

..:: POETRY ::..

..:: PROSE ::..

..:: ETC ::..
   Contributor's Notes

..:: ARCHIVES ::..
   Volume I, Issue I
   Volume I, Issue II
   Volume II, Issue I
   Volume II, Issue II
   Volume III, Issue I
   Volume III, Issue II
   Volume IV, Issue I
   Volume IV, Issue II
   Volume V, Issue I
   Volume V, Issue II
   Volume VI, Issue I


The Sky, The Sky, The Wide Open Sky
Len Kuntz


          We live in a box with the secret that we are not normal and inside this toaster the air is always thick and ragged with cigarette smoke and sweat and sharp words and spiked stares that scare me, even though I am older now and male and should be brave, unlike my nephew who came to play one weekend but got so frightened his eyelashes fell out.
If I can help it, I don't talk to anyone, not even myself, but at night there's a wide open sky and sometimes it winks at me and I think that it must be God, and maybe all that glittering is metal because God actually wears braces like Wanda Baker, and that image makes me smile inside, thinking of God as a gawky kid like me, maybe even with acne, maybe just starting to get hair down there.
          The other day the television said all the cowboys had died. I don't know what expression I wore when I heard that news, but Mother's boyfriend threw a boot that made my nose bleed. He said, "Not the real ones, you idiot."
          We're not supposed to go beyond the electric fence that encircles our gravel yard and boxy house, but each night I sneak out with a flash light and hand shovel. I dig and pail dirt and every evening I get a little farther. I'd take my sister with but I know she'll only rat me out like the time I told her I enjoyed painting portraits.
          Then in late summer it happens. I poke through the other side.
          The sky is the same sky as across the fence. There's not a thing different about it. Still, until now, I've never noticed how—if you draw a line between them—the stars make up letters and if I string the R and the U with the N, it tells me exactly what to do next.


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