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Faith Allington


On the Cusp


North on the 101, the trees  

amazed us most.  

Coming from desert, 

such deep drinking thirst 

felt wasteful and dangerous.  


The van shuddered to a stop 

and when the stranger stopped

to help us, my sister and I  

crouched in the back  

like fox kits. 


He helped fix the tire, 

gave us a gourd,

invited us up dirt slopes 

for dinner. I held my breath,  

thought they might say yes,  

those hippie parents of mine. 

I saw them consider it. 


Maybe he wasn’t dangerous,

but all I could think was

don't don’t

because for the first time 

I could see under my skin  

and right down to the bones. 

Faith Allington is a writer, gardener and lover of mystery parties who moved from Los Angeles to the Pacific Northwest. Her work is forthcoming or has previously appeared in various literary journals, including Fourth River Tributaries, Crow & Cross Keys, The Fantastic Other, and The Quarter(ly).

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