OUR LAST NOVEMBER by Ana Pugatch
Updated: Jan 22, 2019
OUR LAST NOVEMBER
Adirondack Mountains, NY
In your dream that night I had slits for pupils—vertical, unseeing, halving two gilded coins. In daylight I became that goat, thrashing like the devil in the thicket at noon. We bushwhacked our way through the thorns, mud-suctioned, scratched. You were angry I had not completed my morning task. We had woken up at the cabin to find four dusty gray field mice, pricking their noses along the inside of live traps. Now you were the sun, glaring down a rock face I could not scale. “When you don’t drown mice, they’ll keep coming back.” Upon our return you shook them out into a bucket. One was missing an eye. You disappeared, headed towards the stream; the moss on the tree trunks flared emerald green. Your ghost returned across dry grass, locked the door, piled on the wool blankets—like I wasn’t there. A half-dead mouse I kept coming back, nosing my way to the cabin for warmth.
Ana Pugatch is an MFA candidate at GMU, where she studies poetry and
reads for Phoebe Journal. She spent the last several years teaching
English in China and Thailand. She has a Master’s degree in “Language
& Literacy” from Harvard University, and a Bachelor’s degree in
English from Skidmore College.