It was the summer they found a body in the city pool with two bullets in

its temple.


We were wise then, as dictators before exile. I reigned in a kingdom of



It seemed funny, then, to take off my clothes and find water, to laugh

when rockweed banded my body as if to camouflage me from myself.


I didn’t belong on that road. It ended abruptly. A fox ran under our car

and we believed it was a ghost. And I was always getting into other

people’s lakes as if there was a cure for it.


That summer a psychic read a fortune from the dirt on my wrist. You

will disappear. I had no plans for reappearing.


Or, I was running so quickly the cars looked like they were moving

backwards. You in your car and me on foot on the dirt road in summer

murky with willow boughs. We drank lemonade and watched my Pepere

slaughter moles with the lawn mower; hole, hole, hole, body. It was a

myth, so nothing happened. I left so fast, you believe I turned into a


Rebecca Valley is a poet and essayist from Saint Albans, Vermont. Her work has been featured in Black Warrior Review, Rattle, ELKE: a little journal, The Spectacle, and other journals. She was the winner of the 2019 Academy of American Poets Prize at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the inaugural recipient of the Young Writers Project Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center. She is an MFA Candidate in Poetry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she teaches writing. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of Drizzle Review, a book review site with a focus on minority authors and books in translation.