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  • Writer's pictureLammergeier Staff

At her bachelorette party | Max Orr

Updated: Mar 28, 2021

Anna explains that corpses churn out poison:

freon, mercury, lead, decades of digested

pesticides — enough to kill you! She laughs

between breaths — we blow life into

crinkled, gold balloons. They should spell

BRIDE — but the E won’t inflate, so she strings up

the unfinished BRID against the dark

hotel room walls. There’s this mushroom suit,

she says. They dress you head-to-toe:

It’s all about the spores — the fungi. They eat

everything: hair, nails, teeth, bones — even

the pesticides. She says when you’re gone,

the soil is safe. You could grow corn in it, maybe,

or bell peppers. You could eat them. I pour

champagne into plastic cups that will outlive

us all. I always thought I’d be reborn

as a tree — or maybe an alley

cat — the kind that rolls in dust, dozes

in patches of sun. But I like bell peppers

and corn, too. Anna raises her glass for a toast:

‘til death, I say — to soil. We swallow.

Max Orr teaches high school English in Columbus, Ohio. He is a hiker and a cat lover as well as the winner of the 2019 William Redding Memorial Poetry Contest. His work has appeared in Pudding Magazine, The Fourth River, Ghost City Review, and Maudlin House.



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