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Two-Cat Town by Alison McBain

I grew up near

a two-cat place,

the oldest town in

California not birthed as

a hatchery for cities.

Cities progress:

box store building blocks

knocked over

by urbanist toddlers,

the Wild West mystique


beneath the blooded remnants

of new expansion.

If we concrete our problems


we can ignore

the wide open spaces

that burn

at the center of our hearts.

In the rush of gold

maybe we’ll find riches:

cracked glass treasures

laid over the skeleton

of forgotten names.

Maybe we’ll become a Diamondback

lacking a tongue,

lacking a mouth,

lacking a voice.

Alison McBain is an award-winning author with nearly 100 short works published, including prose/poetry in Litro, FLAPPERHOUSE, and The Airgonaut. Last year, her poem “Assimilation” was nominated for the Puschart Prize, and her debut fantasy novel The Rose Queen was named one of the best books of 2018 by the reviewer website Bookshine and Readbows. In her spare time, she is the Book Reviews Editor for Bewildering stories, and the lead editor of the small press publisher Fairfield Scribes.

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