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by Ashley Evans


Bitter. The night is bitter and cold.

There is a pungent smell of exhaust.

It hunkers down, lowering her to the seat.

The dark pours in through the car window.

Smothering, sweating, animosity, bitter,

bit-her. Scratch, scream, sting, sing.

It cleaves into the skin,

paying close attention to detail,

cracking, seeping, spilling, flooding.

Anguish. The pain cuts like a knife.

An intense burst, and it is over.

No, but wait.

Dysphagia, I have heard of it before—

closing, consuming, constricting.

Colors swirl in the night above waterfalls,

promising to remind her of the dark.

The gravel cradles her.

Bitter is the taste of the

residue left behind, left until morning.

Bit by bit her,

innocence is stripped.


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