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By Amy Barnes

it was dramatic and initially fun to watch like the day I saw real nuns zipline drunk at our company picnic, and I prayed on the factory floor for the first time in a long time, like I imagine those more gentle nuns might pray after they sobered up, with my clasped hands and folded knees an anchor in the factory storm of glass, but it wasn’t a prayer for forgiveness, instead I yelled Save Me God! as the bottles flew and the machines jammed and the metal caps flew out of the presses like tiny metal frisbees, like God’s frisbees during a tornado, circular weapons flying across the plant until one took out Mark from accounting’s eye, which was particularly ironic because he was only on the floor for a minute to count things; and when someone finally pulled the shutdown switch, there were paper bits of smiling wimpled women and headless body nun label scraps and glittering glass littering the factory aisles and I gawked at it all with all the other workers (but no real nuns) untilI I felt something wet on my left leg and with a wince, looked down expecting to see brown beer liquid but instead there was a pool of communion-colored blood, tamped down by a Blue Nun label, blood seeping and creeping out from the edges like consecrated wine a priest forgot to drink, a crown of glass fragments around the nun’s head like a Renaissance painting in need of restoration.

Amy Cipolla Barnes lives in the South with dogs and kids and words and at @amygcb on Twitter

Art by Viktor Talashuk.

By Robbie Gamble

Squawking bulk of dark iridescence explodes onto the road from my left, waist height, flapping madly for more altitude than turkeys are built to achieve, pursued by a bounding coyote, each leap closing on the tom’s tailfeathers, the two of them crashing up the bracken on the right embankment into hemlock woods beyond, their clamor fading to uneasy silence, one taut link in the food chain drawn visible for a long catch of breath, and how we fall with determined ease into our roles: predator, prey, eyewitness, all primed for this little jump-cut encounter, not knowing how the script resolves: who dies, who eats, who finishes their stroll and tries to lie down for a nap, still thrumming with adrenaline and a fumbling, fluttering question: how do these lives run out?

Robbie Gamble writes poems and essays, bakes bread, and tries to be kind.

Photo by Robbie Gamble.

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