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Southern Nights

Julia Dawn Elkins

The temperature creeps closer

to 100 and no one

keeps track of every critter

that comes in our home, seeking

a kind of permanent

shade. The brown recluse

stretches its legs over the window

frame. Heat

makes equals of us all.

Your skin’s got scars

from his kind,

but the window stays

open, like an ongoing prayer

for breeze. At night

you choose to sleep

on whatever side

you feel like

saving. You kick the covers

off your back.

Let it be bait.

Fall, 2016 Issue

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