Attempts at Decomposition

by Abby Burns

SHH! The girl children are experimenting with decomposition. They’re taking black felt markers to their favorite fairytales, blacking out every iteration of the words: princess, love, and happy. They’re erasing whole worlds until all that remains to them are dragons and witches and wicked stepmothers. Yesterday, they found their fathers’ clippers and lined up to shave each other’s heads clean. The day before, they stole photo albums from their mothers’ basements and burned every picture in which they were smiling. They reentered history and let leeches take hold of their thighs and doctors rub away the hysteria between their legs. Now, they’re whispering about tomorrow. Secrets laced with yearning. If you listen close, you’ll hear their chorus, their dreams. They want to bury their feet in the soil next to their mothers’ hydrangeas and with their faces turned to the afternoon sky, they want to wait on the worms. — Abby Burns has an MFA in creative writing from Notre Dame. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ghost Parachute, Bending Genres, Entropy, (b)OINK zine, Longridge Review, and elsewhere. Artwork by: Sarah Shields Sarah Shields is an artist and writer living in Southern California with her family and one very naughty cat. Her artwork has appeared in The PinchFigroot Press, and Gigantic Sequins among others. She is lost and sometimes found on Twitter @saraheshields. Links Website: Twitter: @saraheshields