This selection, chosen by Managing Editor Krista Cox, is from Almonds are Members of the Peach Family by Stephanie Sauer, released by Noemi Press in 2019.
Rio, the city, has many mouths. Each one houses gums hot from infection reaching into arteries. Rio, the city, does not resist person-ification. Rio, the city, will eat you. It will suck you and serenade you and swallow the crackle of your bones whole. Rio, the city, has no regard for survival, only for living at the epidural edge—at the mo-ment blood pushes pores open, releases scent. The air is composed of saline and the once living. At certain circumferences, their weight calcifies into matter. I bump into one on the way to buy groceries and it slices my arm. I hold the cut with my opposing hand and an incision forms from the inside of my skin, letting air in but no blood out. Rio, the city, becomes home not because it, too, is a postcard like California Gold Country, but because it, too, fails to digest its dead.