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Slaughterhouse Pond

By Graham Hillard Poetry

Sleepless, the fish wait ——-for the steer’s head, —————a ceremony they have learned to require—primordial ——-as the filaments of gills —————but honed in this economy of flesh: the apprentice’s arcing ——-heave, the silvery shattering —————of the surface, then, slowly, their prize’s descent. By the time ——-it reaches them, its mute bewilderment —————has relaxed into nothingness,…

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Cotton Mather Examines Four Children Afflicted by Witchcraft

By Graham Hillard Poetry

Boston, 1688 Four years before Salem would lose itself to hysteria, Mather knew already the subtle workings of the devil, how an oak might shrivel overnight, its leaves as brown and parched as hostler’s leather; or a widow’s fields surrender to drought, her sons unable to save them, while a neighbor’s thrived. Only by confession…

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Lascaux

By Graham Hillard Poetry

The photographs are separated by the turn of the page, so that to look at one is to conceal the other. In the first, reindeer scatter westward, their antlers unblooming trees upon the cave’s wall, their hooves roots snaking through barren rock, seeking distant water. In the second, the scene is repeated, but darkly, stripped…

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Pavane for a Dead Princess

By Graham Hillard Short Story

JODI AND I WERE PLAYING the Ravel. Her parents had been texting her for almost an hour, and though Jodi was ignoring them with a theatrical nonchalance, I knew it was only a matter of time before they tried my apartment. Not that they would get anywhere. For days now, my mother and I had…

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