You’d rather die by myth, / come upon the villains of your / mother’s bedtime stories

Photo of Terese Mason Pierre

Last week, there was a shooting
at the mall. Ever bold, you
claimed it would become one more
talking point, our legs entwined
at the back of the cinema, breath
snatching. The heat squeezes,
drips over us on the way home.
Always a risk—walk on the field
or the road, our prayers wiped
away with the orange sky while
animals grazed. Those people,
you say, in their own heads, trying
on dresses, buying school supplies— 
then some harsh red ending.
I want a death as real as possible:
old age, a shooting, falling from a cliff,
my maroon frightening the sea.
You’d rather die by myth,
come upon the villains of your
mother’s bedtime stories: the loup-garou
waiting at the opposite end of the bed.
I always need to think about what
part of me would be mourned—and, for that,
you say we diverge. The moon has plans
for us; the grass trips my feet. We cross
the road and I lose my shoe. I am almost
hit by a car. We kiss at the top of the hill.
Fireworks go off somewhere but don’t
illuminate the sky. A dog barks.
In the field below, a creature moves
back and forth, drinking the blood of cows.

Terese Mason Pierre
Terese Mason Pierre is the co-editor-in-chief of Augur Magazine, a Canadian speculative literature journal. Her work appears in Quill & Quire, Brick, and Fantasy Magazine. She lives and works in Toronto.

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