I’ve been sulking around the house wringing my hands inside my chest like some old weatherman certain the big storm’s coming today, the one that’ll blow us all away with whatever wrath you believe in. If you ask me how I am, I’ll tell you my recent life’s story, which is ridiculous. Yesterday, for instance, I found a dead mole in the driveway. Nice job, cat, I thought, then remembered the star-nosed mole I caught years ago. I put the mole in the plastic aquarium I’d used to kill a Siamese fighting fish. I gave the mole grass and leaves, some twigs and watched him for two days. I named him Frightful. I never saw him move, except his little ribs heaving like a coal miner’s. I pressed my face to the plastic, staring into those mineshaft eyes. I was sure he was scared of me, but I don’t remember if I felt like God or like I thought God might feel. I remember the body, though, after I’d stared him to death, how it bounced in the grass on the third day. I remembered yesterday when I flicked that mole with my shoe’s tip into the road, the traffic like a life’s-full of guilt. What I carry in my chest is never of my choosing, so the stories I tell are always the same, why my prayers keep begging for words to let me rewrite my own endings, or at least imagine the possibility, a sunrise on the horizon I can’t see in the dark.

CHRISTIAN ANTON GERARD’s first book is Wilmot Here, Collect For Stella (WordTech Communications, 2014). He has received Pushcart Prize nominations, scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and an Academy of American Poets Prize. His recent poems appear in Redivider, Pank, Post Road, Smartish Pace, B-O-D-Y, and The Rumpus. He lives in Fort Smith, AR, with his wife and son, where he is an Assistant Professor of English, Rhetoric, and Writing at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. He can be found on the web at christianantongerard.com.