| Poetry, Print Issues

Little Girl, What Preparations Are You Making for Eternal Life?


Crystal Cox

Since you asked, I’m answering with alien

abduction stories, period underpants,

midday séances under a tree, hoarding

those bathroom towels with the fancy

stitching, a few cans of cheese. My dad

is busy making bricks at his factory job

that won’t provide AC—overripe government

conspiracy. If I had the extra cabinet space,

I’d fill it with perishable strawberry cake.

If my Mom’s god were the right god,

I’d crunch my sleepy little soul into

the pew. I’m looking for a hand to

hold, but I’m done asking. My dad

tells me about dreams, about visions,

there is absolutely no distinction.

He’s seen himself atop a white horse

on the promised day, mirroring the prince

of heaven. I rode on top a white horse once,

saddle-less and feigning scared. My heels

rested on its soft skin until it bucked me

skyward. When I hit the ground, there was

no bloody god mirroring me. Just some piles

of shit and a kid running for it.

Crystal Cox is an MFA candidate at the University of Idaho writing about twinhood, alikeness, generational trauma, and rurality, among other things. Her work has appeared in The Shore, Nimrod, Kissing Dynamite, The Bookends Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets University Prize and a 2023 Centrum Fellowship. She calls Mid-Missouri home.

Artwork: “Lady Silence” by Anna Maeve


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