Anyone With $1000 Could Buy a Van and Leave

but you’ll do something more interesting
than that.      You’ll sit, note
                      the perfect sentinel
                      of cigarettes, clean bones
                      lined in their crate, waiting,
                      the shuddering reach
                      of the flame
                      in staccato bursts
                      the milkweed pods
                       ravishing their shells
                       for freedom—sometimes
the only way out
of the womb
is by force.
When the river got out of hand, emboldened with rain water, the fishermen ran to the shore. Most kept running, dragging waders in thick strokes against the sand, as far as their bodies would go. The bravest, though, ran just to safety and spun to watch the river bloat and bloom further up the shore. The other men ripped their attention like a weed from the river, thought me, thought safety, thought space, but the bravest teased his attention out until he could see both him and river together.

Olivia Olson is a librarian working in metro Detroit, where she maintains a harmless but determined obsession with the diaries of Anais Nin. Her recent work can be found in Spry Literary Journal and Driftwood Press.