Sacred Heart by Sophie Klahr and Corey Zeller

They didn’t know what they wanted. Chrysanthemums, tempests, the sacred heart. The next- door neighbors put their grill too close to the fence and the dry vines catch on fire. Across the street, the obese woman is screaming again at her boyfriend as he exits the house. He gets in the driver’s seat and she lays her body on the hood of his car. A child watches from the first floor window inside their house. These streets are an anorexic arm—cars park on both sides of the street, two tires on the sidewalk. It gives the neighborhood a tilting sensation, as if the whole city were suspended. This is just how we live. Looking to the outside world as if everything is about to fall. You were very little the first time you decided to run away. It is a story your mother tells you later. You filled your tiny red and yellow shopping cart with stuffed animals and went down three houses, to the end of the street, where, your mother tells you, because there was a stop sign, you stopped.

Sophie Klahr and Corey Zeller’s collaborations appear or are forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Denver Quarterly, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. Sophie is the author of Two Open Doors In A Field (University of Nebraska, 2023), and Meet Me Here At Dawn (YesYes Books); Corey is the author of You and Other Pieces (Civil Coping Mechanisms) and Man Vs. Sky (YesYes Books). Individually, they’ve been published in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, and beyond. Currently, they live in the same time zone. Though they’ve been writing together since 2012, they have only met once.