Michael Dwayne Smith proudly owns and operates the English-speaking world’s most mysterious name.
His apparitions can be seen at > kill author, Word Riot, Monkeybicycle, Blue Fifth
Review, BLIP, Northville Review, Cortland Review (forthcoming), and other haunts. A
recipient of both the Polonsky Prize for fiction and the Hinderaker Prize for poetry, he lives in a desert town
with his wife, son, and rescued animals—all of whom talk in their sleep. Conjure him on Twitter with the
spell @michaelthebear or on the interwebs at
Since the cancer, pretty much countless. Gauzy revelations. From outside the dark sofa silence of dream, snowy
voices fade in, and I recognize the phenomenon so draw up my lids and—Behold!—wide screen
Since the service, mostly holy visions of women.
This one, newsy and half-serious, flows under waves of glossy black hair. Lucent blues in plush complexion. My wife, Lucia, might say, “Holy shit, look—it’s Mary Magdalene! Pretty as a double-crested cormorant!”
A warm erection rises beneath the blanket. Close my eyes.
Mary Magdalene trills to another woman, a redhead I guess from the rumpled sheet voice. “Oils and scented candles,” Mary advises, and bath water surrounds me, or rosewater...jasmine? I float happy soft, familiar in plucked petals.
Lucia picked up her cancer and left me here when her mother died alone at home.
Here I’m buried in half-light, and the redhead outside sounds dubious. “He can look for me if he wants me,” she admonishes, “find me in my robe. He can wash my feet. He can swim into my ductal carcinoma, and drink the psalm milk of saints.”