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October 20, 2020


Erin Dorney

Day 15

Dear Adriene,

Carve a line with your nose—just one more way to hollow out. I don’t miss driving past the landfill, its scent of something seriously wrong. Where the attention goes, the energy flows but then why do we bury our trash or shoot it out into space? I wish just once a leaf would grow large enough to wrap me like a blanket, but they’re always disappointing—like the squash vine by midday, wilted in the heat then a million begging hands by sunrise. My eyes are like two old coins, rubbed fuzzy in a nervous pocket. What is worth seeing, now? Name me one thing that hasn’t let you down.


Day 16

Dear Adriene,

The planthoppers lay an average of 40 eggs at once. Does that mean they live for one year or 41? Eighty two? One hundred and twenty three? Allow that information to travel—in swarms, let it rain down like a plague. It doesn’t seem fair. Quarantine came first for the lanternflies and then it came for us, our grapes, our apples, hops, and hardwoods. Everything I think is a black block outlined in grey—reticulated. What’s Being Done is Nothing. Imagine yourself as a baby. Now, imagine a whole country of that.


Day 17

Dear Adriene,

Every virtue signaled. Every lawn-boy. Every lady holding a platter with outstretched arms. Every nightfall, every windbreak, every morning tumbling wet. Every petal dropped, every dropped signal, every time anyone even thought to ask. I think: sunshine as punishment, lavender as love language, how some of our insides hold dead things and we don’t even know it. Shine a little light into those dark crevices of the body. A grain silo can be a metaphor for any feeling— one misstep and you are simply engulfed. Did you know suffocation rarely occurs from the weight of it? It is the grain itself that kills you, filling your every inch of throat.