Theft

by Rodney Wilhite

Rodney Wilhite is an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas. His work has previously appeared in Cartographer, Splash of Red and elsewhere. A native of rural northeastern Oklahoma, he currently lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

 

Listen

Windshields shatter easily with only a small chip
of her mother’s broken porcelain. People often leave

emergency twenties in the glovebox. Her father leaves
love letters in the floorboard
from a woman whose name she doesn’t recognize.

A neighbor keeps a fawn caged inside a chicken-coop.
It skitters, nimble legs and grunting breath
in the dark. She whispers, Come here, I’m sorry.

Angel, come here. Once, she aimed
her rifle at her uncle’s sleeping head.

Drunken, he was dreamless,
bundled in her mother’s deathbed quilt—
already a corpse down her sights.

She let the hammer strike the empty chamber anyway.


Rodney Wilhite is an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas. His work has previously appeared in Cartographer, Splash of Red and elsewhere. A native of rural northeastern Oklahoma, he currently lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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