Afternoon After

by Conor Robin Madigan

A dodge and four doghouses line back wall sunned and tired chips paint. We two watch chickens eat dead young, frozen solid, a ground dead cold from night. Some voice, a kitchen thought, heavenly woman leaves, slams the back door. She pushes her tits in their bra, scratches deep itches anxious fingers craze and crave. Blade teeth keep at splitting wood in the splitter house and spray dust; saw fallen wood. We can watch blue shimmer clouds, day after Kim’s appendix swollen, busted, removed. Tomorrow picnics sugar beans, fruit pies, pull pork, bake molasses and corn bread, hah. Heavenly goods a heavenly blond sister-in-law prepares under mothers’ watch for now. Believe me, Kim says, couldn’a fount more than a kid in that hog for its thinness—I say, sure coulda let him set ‘n et while longer wi’ all thim feeds gone to mold—And we should find, Kim says, ‘least fifty more eggs tomorrow for the salad she’s—Have to get, I interrupt, up t’ ‘n from Marcies coop, we needin’ hella more ‘an twenty. Charlie runs back door through in his Startrek onesie and falls face first on grass, cries. Goddamn kid cries all day and scars up and down his arms and legs his childhood time. Goddamn kid I’m an uncle to and can’t even reach the tractor steps of the Ford for a ride. How augers sound on a night-run lit through trees of red autumn forest and Kim’s kisses. How shadows creep a night-run lit and peepers’ croaks resound trees and the dead.

Conor Robin Madigan‘s writing appears in Storyglossia, elimae, No Posit, Lamination Colony, SmokeLong Quarterly, and he has work forthcoming in New York Tyrant issue V. Cutthroat, a journal of the arts, published chapter the first of a novel for their Rick Demarinis Prose contest. He writes short fiction and music in Evanston, Illinois.

Back to Issue One: Fall 2008