Old men come up here, rich men, to the woods where I once huffed glue until I fell down. Sometimes they come to find peace, but usually leave with game; a little death makes the world feel right. A few fashion poems about the hills and valleys, the green leaves, the sun that rises over young women that remind them of their old wives, writing in new cabins and high tech tents, rising up where I slept bare on the ground all night. I’d been thrown out, you know, and I littered the Pigeon River State Forest with my body, but I collected all my cigarettes, was careful of fire. Around me, the woods whispered and waited. The dark, damp floor: a holy place, an altar for secrets, a cemetery that does not belong to these old men.
Ani King is the founder and Editor in Chief of Syntax & Salt Magazine. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Penny Magazine, as well as others. She currently resides in Lansing, Michigan with her family and cat, and can be found mouthing off at aniking.info