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December sun appears a mile up 
the hill, jerking its long, thin chain 
like a penance. The fourth-pint
weight of you husks into center of
bones, too slender in the treachery
of snow casting threads to wind.
Much about egrets dragging from
dust storm and ocean, shrug off
sorrows on the hunt for briars and
food, setting you adrift through
the nest of all that remains. Beard
coarse on chin, you look to offering
of fields sere in their austere lines,
where the frozen air knows the land
it brings misery that sieves down
the throat of a starving man. Until
you trail the coterie of spoils enough
to unsettle the lives beside your
own, you hunger the salt of deeper
waters shuffling stones, for soon so
far away you’ll like to settle to some-
where else quietly, give praise to
the ground that gives nothing back.

A four-time Pushcart Prize, five-time Best of the Net & Bettering American Poetry nominee, Lana Bella is an author of three chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016), Adagio (Finishing Line Press, 2016), and Dear Suki: Letters (Platypus 2412 Mini Chapbook Series, 2016), has work featured in over 530 journals, The Cortland Review, EVENT, The Fortnightly Review, Ilanot Review, Midwest Quarterly, New Reader, Notre Dame Review, Sundress Publications & Whiskey Island, among others, and Aeolian Harp Anthology, Volume 3. Lana resides in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she is a mom of two far-too-clever-frolicsome imps.

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