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December 4, 2022

Without Measure

Kate Beall

On Sunday I asked: was there anything we could do to hasten

the rapture? More sin? Less? I wanted: fewer cars on the highway,

no more getting jumped by proselytizers on the trails, at the holy

glowing supermarket. For fewer conversations to feel like bone


rubbing up against raw bone, the reason for the season to just be axial tilt

again. Simple. Probably nothing we could do, two heathen misanthropes

adrift on that sacred ribbon of interstate hurtling headlong into Christmas.


On Wednesday a wind ripped through town, trees down, windows

shattered, even the Post Office lost power for days. Was this a sign? But

though the cat was frightened, though the midwinter seedlings grew tousled,

limp—the hundred year shell of the house is untouched. This is no sign for us.


The air is still, now. The line in Barnes and Noble stretches to the very back

of the Religion Section. Two raptors circle the clotted highway, hungry, cautious,

rising weightless on invisible currents of air, enraptured by mice we’ll never see.