Gordon Smedt © 2019

Gordon Smedt © 2019


         by Callista Buchen


For a while, my daughter worried about a catastrophic hole in the ground wherever we were going. Mom, what if the library is just a giant hole? What if the cereal aisle is a big hole? She imagined canyons replacing each familiar landmark. At every intersection, every turn I promised her there would no hole. She’d plead: But what will we do? You’ll see, I would say, everything will be fine. When she stopped asking, I grieved her lost worry like the death of an imaginary friend, but since she’s first stacked the blocks in the living room, she’s understood that what we build we can crash.

Anything can go boom, she says now to her little brother, who wants the tower higher, higher still. Mom will hold it, she tells him. She pauses and adds, for now.

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Callista Buchen is the author of Look Look Look, forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in October 2019, and the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press). Her work appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, DIAGRAM, and others. She teaches at Franklin College.