about the author

J. A. Tyler is founding editor of Mud Luscious Press and author of Inconceivable Wilson (Scrambler Books) as well as the forthcoming title A Man of Glass & All the Ways We Have Failed (Fugue State Press) and, with John Dermot Woods, the image text novel No One Told Me I Would Disappear (Jaded Ibis Press). For more, visit: mudlusciouspress.com.

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Leonard was a wave of farmland

J. A. Tyler

Leonard was a wave of farmland coming over a tractor’s hull. Leonard was my lover. A sky bleating and sheep responding with wool. My mother quilted. She made one for her bed, one for mine. I say to the pretend-Leonard, the one holding my hands, if we swallow a strawberry plant then with enough water it will grow inside of us and we will burst with seeds. Leonard is a combine. Leonard winks.

This is a maze that we are inside of. These woods. Inside of the maze there are homes I have built. Two I burned down, one sank into the lake I built it on. I burned the first fox alive. I skinned the second fox and am wearing his crown of fur. I gutted the bear who enjoyed my card tricks. These are all memories receding. These are all things I have done before dying.

My mother knitted—a scarf, a cap for the cold. The snow is not here yet. When the snow comes my love letters to Leonard may not arrive. When I sleep I dream of him holding my hands, swinging me around in circles, legs flown out from under. When it is morning I drink sunrise and walk from one awakening to another. I stare at the sun instead of eating and go blind. I swell with air and there are no stitches strong enough to hold me together. My footsteps spell the word lost.

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