Paradise

For an hour, maybe
more, they talked in the living
room about misogyny and
rape culture. Events
unfolded from there with
both hitch and restraint.
Morality comes down to
a few moments when you can’t
not act. The nightmare, as I
grow older, expands to include
my wife, then each of my
children in turn, but always
the bear moves slowly
at some times, at others
irrationally fast. Each
day flattens toward me. One
moment misdirects the next.
Each child kept safe in a way
though it’s been summer now
for a long, long time.

Andy Stallings lives in Deerfield, MA, where he teaches English at Deerfield Academy. His second collection with Rescue Press, Paradise, will come out in 2018. He has four young children, and coaches cross country running.

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