“Anywhere there are good and bad spirits, but the more there is hardship, the more bad spirits come around”—Ivan Posey, Eastern Shoshone Council
Last seen tearing down the lane on thick thighs like thunder-bang, Jr. queen of Wind River Res. Last seen wresting things out of cracks in scorched earth, holding them up to the light. Last seen laughing, head thrown back like a hallelujah. Last seen curled up in scrub-grass with friends, blowing kisses to a bottle of Black Velvet. Last seen enraptured by the crack-up of baby bird bones, that lissome cull.
Last seen cheeks currant with scatter-heat, the kind that roils. Last seen in any bar, in every bar. At a parade. The gas station. At 11:09. Last seen hair the color of crow although, one that cannot fly. Last seen on an encrusted couch, legs draped like an afterthought. Last seen covering breasts like mountain peaks that they will not know. Last seen mouth cherry O, forming the word no, lips fused around pearls.
Last seen in Hot Springs County, before the first snow. Last seen bruises blooming up an arm like nothing else in this place can. Last seen inky locks in the river, tangling. Last seen clavicle-splintered. Last seen bones with gnaw-marks made from things which scurry home to nests, grateful for small gifts. Last seen a body, sparkling like a thing yet to be discovered. Last seen as a scream, clawing its way out of a red, red mouth.
Jessica Dionne is an MFA candidate at North Carolina State University. She received her MA in Literature from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her work has appeared in Rust + Moth, Banshee (IE), Mascara Literary Review (AU), The Mayo Review, The Longleaf Pine, and JMWW. She also received a writing residency from the Weymouth Center of the Arts and Humanities.