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Flame-like radiance descends on a creature that you can see within range

I hope the half-blown


over my shoulder—

I hope the gray hours—

whisper darts—

are enough.


I hope he’s alone

with geraniums

in his mouth.


Jason has an F-150

he takes to sailing

over the plains.


He buries

every bullet—

his brother’s—

every cabinet—

blown open.


& Jason knows

every approach

I’d take

my half-blown dress,

a whisper dart

over my shoulder.


I’d take his F-150

out sailing

over the plains.


Now I’m alone

with geraniums

in my mouth—

every bullet—

his brother’s—

every cabinet—

I open—

every approach

over my shoulder,

his head—a dart.

Sepia-toned photo of a woman looking to the side, off camera, smiling. She has short, light-colored hair cut at chin level. She is wearing a silver chain and a dark-colored sweater with small, light-colored embroidered foxes scattered around. The background of the photo consists of blurry grained-wood slats.

Shannon Hardwick’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Gulf Coast Journal, Salamander, South Dakota Review, Plume Poetry Journal, The Texas Observer, Four Way Review, The Missouri Review, Sixth Finch, and Passages North, among others. Hardwick serves as the Editor-in-Chief for The Boiler.