The Orchard Didn’t Come Back

I grip a bow backwards. A hunter holds the arrow. The arrow is dipped in mercury. I lean back like the string of the bow but opposite. The hunter lets go of the arrow. It shoots through me into the night splitting a cloud into soft versions of myself. The versions shift into an orchard. Each tree is etched as a compass. The hunter gathers apples from the orchard and asks the moon to wane each slice into an arrow. An arrow strikes a bird’s nest. There is an egg inside the nest. The hunter cracks the egg and my name spills out. I place the orchard, the hunter and the night in a nest built with arrows. I ask the hunter “How did you know you were a hunter?” She replies: “I stopped asking what I was looking for.”


Rachel Cruea is an MFA candidate at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she teaches creative writing as a GPTI. Along with serving as the managing editor of TIMBER journal, she is a poetry editor for GASHER journal. Her work has previously appeared in editions of The Adroit Journal, Jet Fuel Review, The Boiler, and has work forthcoming in Whiskey Island. She is originally from Ohio.