Claudia Cortese


are dying. There are blue wings at her window. Why won't you look at me, said the wren to the sparrow. The sickness starts in the trees, then pustules engulf the throat .... Lucy tells her sister that families burrow beneath them, a small apocalypse with each step—that six-pack rings strangle turtles. Lucy braids grass blade and honeysuckle, crowns herself the queen of Edgemont Park. Night falls like a noose, and they leave as the molesters file in. The pomegranate is sweeter than the artichoke, and Lucy loves her sister more than her Cyndi Lauper sweatshirt.



says that Edna Pontellier walked into the ocean, let water close above her like a door because it was her only escape from the Cult of Domesticity, Lucy imagines a group of robed housewives killing a goat, then bowing to a golden, six-foot toaster oven. Lucy wants to walk into the ocean before gym class. She can feel her belly fat bounce up and down when she jogs the track. There's a tornado watch, and the clouds look like cellulose. Lucy hides behind a spruce while the others run laps; she arrives panting and unflushed to the finish line.






Lucy is an amalgamation of me and my friends in high school. We were all such strange, screwed up girls, and Lucy allowed me to tell our stories in a way not bound by "facts" or "narrative."