By Emily Nason

Featured Art: Mid Winter by Pamela Fogg

I am predisposed: toothed gardenia. Just like my mother’s
mother. I ask the doctor what to do. She says, Consult the oracles,

read the tea leaves. Which means, Keep taking your meds.
Which means, Watch who you procreate with. I’m not sure

I’m happier now. I just feel things less. Not quite a numbness,
but a lack. When my dog sees a dog that looks like her, she cocks

her head, as if to say, Huh. Isn’t that something? Smart girl,
but it frightens me that she knows, retains, what she looks like.

I am frightened of a lot of things, but not of what awaits. Side effects:
a comfort or ideation with fresh dirt and ashes. Visiting the family burial

plot, the caretaker tells us, We can stack em six deep. Economical,
I think. My mother asks him to trim the nearby tree, it’s obscuring

her mother’s grave. Two rows down, a marble headstone reads,
Stand back, I’m coming up! Okay. Where are you going to go?

Emily Nason is from Columbia, South Carolina and has an MFA in poetry from the University of Virginia. Her poetry has appeared in the Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Southern Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere.

Originally appeared in NOR 29

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