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AudioRead by the author. 


When I lived on the secluded river, my loneliness festered.
I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t pray. Reading turned into

running my eyes over the same sentence time after time,
absorbing little. I sat on the dock and watched the otters

teasing each other, cracking open pawfuls of shell-shine
and floating supine on the water’s invisible crust. The nasal tang

of an electric sander permeated the air. I looked, but I saw
no craftsman, no tools. The buzz buzzed on. I couldn’t see

what you were building in the world behind my world.



Mary McSparran received her MFA from Vanderbilt University. She has taught various writing classes in middle Tennessee and has received scholarships from the West Chester Poetry Center and the South Central MLA.




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