Cuffing Season

Rachel Atkinson

For the world to see you are the friendliest and warmest, or so it seems on those cold fall nights. That mega-watt smile gives while you take with me concern for the destruction left behind. Always a shoulder to lean on for others, while seeming to lack empathy. Ever the mannerly, polite, programmed person of a culture taught to stifle. You love in moments bred from regrets of years gone by. The first time I allowed you to blame me. The second time, blame agreed upon you. How long life lived in lies Isis? How Long? Desires found in only those that are destined on a stay not for long. With your lioness pride and a suppressed appetite never fulfilled. Feed your soul for fulfillment after you purge and choke on the pain you’ve caused. Senseless. The carnage you have left behind will become the graveyard in those nightmares. How do I become the one paying a bounty for what I have given freely? Your silent war is deafening. Your white flags are only to hide the red flags.

Scans of Rachel's submitted materials

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Nat. Brut is a proud winner of a 2020 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize