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  You could have a big dipper   

Prairie State by Becca Yenser

The other day I caught a praying mantis in my hand and felt it buck against me like a horse. Later, I held it in a flowered cup and watched it bathe every foot, sensually, like a woman in love. In the afternoon, it moved to a screen. Screens can be nice homes.

I used to like clear nail polish. My mother said it made my hands look healthier, and I believed her. I was fifteen.

If you say forever too many times, your bottom lip will turn numb.

For too long I never had a girl on the roof. And then I took her and I showed her the wires and the post office and she tasted of earth and I kept her hair clips on my dresser until I didn’t.

Kansas is low. It’s the lowest point, so low. Sea-level low.

You can live your life as other days that you’ve already lived. What you do is suspend the present but keep the past hot in your mind. You’d be amazed how much you can hold onto. You can do it!

Yesterday I did lunges in front of an audience of geese and they panicked and flew away.

When you work a job as a deli clerk, it’s possible you’ll cut off the tip of your finger and no one will notice. You will hold your bloody hand above your heart while the customers eat their pickles.

Your eyelashes are like prairie grasses and you pull them and you pull them and you pull them.


Becca Yenser graduated from Wichita State University with an MFA in Creative Writing. They are the author of the CNF collection, The Grief Lottery (forthcoming, ELJ Editions, 2021). Recent writing appears in Hobart, Bending Genres, Tiny Molecules, Fanzine, and Heavy Feather Review. They live in New Mexico with their cat, NJ.

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