Fiction

Fields

Published on The Hopper

Their muscled bodies felt the way he envisioned ghosts: thick, heavy, just out of reach.

Grounded

Published in Gray’s Sporting Journal

Cass wanted a pheasant– a reason to shoot, to blast, that spectacular ringing filling her head, obliterating everything else from the last 25 days.

The Wing Stand

Published in Juxtaprose

Pheasants chucked, doves cooed; the thrumming of a grouse came through the woods. The only thing Leonard had said, once they sat facing each other, each looking out a rectangle cut into the plywood walls, was, “Stay still.” To spite him she moved her gloved fingers in the pockets of his old hunting jacket.

The Resurrections

Published in Terrain.org

But after each of Beagle’s exhumations, the cat’s hardened body evolved into contorted shocks like lightning bolts. Into November, her shoulder blades misaligned, her neck broke, and her head lolled with each prancing step Beagle took to bring Smokey to me. “I know Boy. Weren’t done with our girls yet.”

Humdinger

Published in Shenandoah, Co-winner of The Shenandoah Fiction Prize and Nominated for a Pushcart Prize

The two women stood from the augured hole as ice crystallized on the fishing line. Beth rolled her lips over her teeth and bit down. Her incisors ached with the cold and blowing snow. Finally, Henry asked, “Did you touch him?”

Good, Gone

Published in Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, Finalist for 2013 Best of the Net Anthology 

Even before we ate roadkill venison, Dad taught us to steer clear of deer’s nerves and the meat around it. He reminded us every time we butchered.

Black Bear

Published in Hunger Mountain Fall 2011, Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and New Stories from the Midwest

In the first nights when I exchange bodies with black bear, my femininity surprises me–my musk, warm and nesting, and my hair, tended and washed, smell of moss and hollows. I admire my long blonde nose, my brunette hair. Strong in my bristly fur, I prize my broad, flat row of molars, dainty canines.

Bones

Published in Gray’s Sporting Journal December 2010

These are the sorts of things we talk about: motors and fish behavior; ospreys and tides. He calls me buddy because I’m just another client; my name isn’t important.

Raccoons

Published by mn-LIT November 2009 from my novel-in-progress

The young raccoon, no larger than a rabbit, didn’t move, the ether potent. But the animal’s body was still warm, and when Mac palmed its grey body, he could feel its thin bones, its still weight.

His Dog

Published as the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award Winner in 2007 and in Printers Row in April 2012

The wind roars when I emerge with bails of hay for the dogs, and I quicken my pace. Once I’m empty handed again, I turn north to breathe in the biting wind. Beyond the store, spruces and pines hide hushed lakes and interrupt the horizon, sharp incisors gnawing at the tousled sky. The wind comes from the direction of Highway 41 that lays limp and silent.      

Turtle Soup

Published in Crab Orchard Review Fall 2007

Will leads the way, pausing to better handle the turtle as big as a garbage can lid. I admire his jagged angles and feel my own expanded weight low in front of me. I scratch at the tightness that set in during my fifth month and envy the turtle’s talons.  

Skull

Published in Minnesota Monthly as a Tamarack Award Finalist

It was awkward, even embarrassing to explain to the cremator, Henry, that I needed your head. “Weird shit all the time,” Henry sighed. But he obliged, largely because of the note you had written him, a dying man’s last wish. The next morning when I returned with brownies and the check, he gave me two boxes. One eerily light, the other nauseatingly heavy. Both weightier than I would have guessed. Both you.

Jaw

Published in Whistling Shade Winter 2005

I knew long before dead Uncle Milton’s jaw fell off that Iwanted to be cremated.

Desire

Published in Speakeasy Winter 2004

And I know you must be speaking of our images pressed together, my body curving to you and your body protruding to me, depression and recess, reciprocal peaks and ridges. Laying aligned joints together, hollows filled, obelisk enveloped, a new flow runs, the current courses.

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