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Dead Skunk Logo: round logo of a white skunk silhouette on a black background with the words “Dead Skunk” in cursive. “Dead” is neon purple and “Skunk” is neon yellow.

Katie Bowers lives in the Southeast where she spends her days drinking Coke--whether that be Fresca or Mello(w) Yello(w) or Diet Dr. Thunder--in the backyard while her daughter, dog, cats, and chickens run amuck.

Pieces of colored chalk laying on a dark surface with a dark background, the colors scribbled on the pavement beneath.

OUR NEIGHBOR HASN’T BEEN SEEN

KATIE BOWERS

Our neighbor—catercorner on the left—hasn't been seen in weeks and weeks,

I'm told, as another car arrives, a van, a truck.

 

How did I not notice?

 

Months and months ago, she stood in her front yard again,

letting vulgar tones crash into violent syllables.

 

And it's hard to explain that to a child, who is just coloring on the sidewalk,

 

and it's hard to explain now and even harder to admit that I felt anger towards my neighbor (love thy neighbor!) even though I knew I couldn't/shouldn't/wouldn't there are just some things you don't want to explain to your daughter when she's trying to draw a (motherfucking!) pterodactyl on the sidewalk and she grabs your hand and asks to go inside and starts crying because your neighbor sounds so angry it's scary to her and why (the fuck!) isn't anyone taking care of this woman and why is she left alone and what am I supposed to do and what if she hurts herself and how did she end up all by herself but didn't she used to have a dog and (fuck!)

 

When did I last see her?

 

The policeman asks me if I saw her at any time after Christmas.

 

I don't know, I told him.

That's horrible, but life is just so busy.

I can't really remember, I confessed.

Header image Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

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Dead Skunk Logo: round logo of a white skunk silhouette on a black background with the words “Dead Skunk” in cursive. “Dead” is neon purple and “Skunk” is neon yellow.

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