about the author

Doug Paul Case studies writing, literature, and publishing at Emerson College, where he edits The Emerson Review and interns at Ploughshares. His work has appeared at PANK, Alba, Necessary Fiction, and Stirring. He blogs at dougpaulcase.wordpress.com.

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Upon a Line by Elizabeth Strout

Doug Paul Case

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The screen door opened, banged shut.
It was enough to scatter the congregated

fruit flies, who’d taken to the awning
as if it were covered in horse shit.

Yes, it smelled. Only springtime,
but the sun peaked like August noon,

searing the stink into the fabric.
I wished that mutt was still alive,

to lick it from the threads. He’d eat
anything. And that’s when I noticed:

The violets hadn’t bloomed.

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