Nov/Dec 2018 • Vol. XL No. 6 NonfictionNovember 22, 2022 |

Forcing His Body to the Water

Hughie Lining your arms thunderbolt and swallow tattoos / the signs / on your door Freedom Respect It Protect It The Right to Bear Arms / your beard / your wide blue eyes. Generations of your family saying no to Monsanto like the years saying no to the pipeline / not useless exactly / but sad. This is why I wanted to start at the beginning / yours and mine / though you are sixty-two and I forty-one / you a libertarian who’d made it his mission to plant a thousand shining green trees / across the shining green land / beige now / as we drive and reverse and almost get stuck in the mud. It began on the phone and ended in your kitchen / stories about your life / something grown from seven generations in the wide yellow rows of corn / my microphone attentive / to the pauses / in between / your breath. This is like a poem, you see / see / because that’s how it started / with poems. After the car got unstuck from that rich black mud, the kind of mud I’ve learned after

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Erika T. Wurth
Erika T. Wurth’s publications include a novel, Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend, two collections of poetry, and a collection of short stories, Buckskin Cocaine. A writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she teaches creative writing at Western Illinois University and has been a guest writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals, including Boulevard, Drunken Boat, the Writer’s Chronicle, Waxwing, and South Dakota Review. She is represented by Peter Steinberg. She is Apache/Chickasaw/Cherokee and was raised outside of Denver.

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