diode v9n1



Three Bodies

A lamb shoulder
cooked in hay.
Other shoulders,
cooked or not,
hurting or not,
carrying the head
where it wants.
Toward dead
animals to eat,
dead animals
to inspect for
an answer:
What is inside?
Who hurt you?
Some are all
lungs. Some
have no lungs
and live just
by being here.


In the dark
I knock over
the neighbor’s
ceramic collie.
The sound is
like a bouquet
hitting dog
fur. But the
nose comes off
and the paw
and I look for
to hide them.


In one translation
of the Bible, the
word “single”
is used to describe
two eyes that
become one.
When the eye
is single, united
in itself, the body
fills with light. In
another translation,
the eyes must
be good, and then
the body fills
with a different
kind of light.

Julie the Astonishing (How She Was Tempted)

It was a dark night in a dark bar. He told her he was from Grand Rapids, Michigan. They played darts and had a belch contest. Later in bed, she learned he kept ears, teeth, noses, fingers in an old heart-shaped candy box. He fixed her Ford Fiesta, but he made it worse. The muffler never quite worked. She went off the road into a ditch in darkest New Hampshire. The couscous she made for a potluck went all over the windshield. It was so dark she couldn’t see the hundreds of trees.
            A relief, at first, when she realized it was all a kind of dream. That she was a dream: one of many layers inside the mountain. Spiraling up and up, pulling her one way into the green voices of earth, and in another way toward sleep. She stretched between both, slowly becoming a hard-rooted tree, and then he reached in, pulled her out, and shook her.  


Julia Story is the author of Post Moxie (Sarabande, 2010).  Her recent work has been published in Sixth Finch and Denver Quarterly, and is forthcoming in Gulf Coast and H_NGM_AN. She is a 2016 recipient of a Pushcart Prize and lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.