Clearing, from AD 30/31

A very short prose piece from Artful Dodge 30/ 31 by Joel Brouwer:


You breathe easier in the clearing, as if a stone was lifted from your chest, or the voltage lowered. Before that, everything’s awkward, you never know what’s next: suicides, firefights, screaming families. In the truck someone has to pull the rice sack over his head, tie his hands behind him. You can’t help touching the skin. The trail through the jungle is muddy and if you’re leading him you slip, catch yourself on his shoulder, feel him shiver, It’s embarrassing. In the clearing things are simple. The moon glints in a tilted bottle. You have a gun or a shovel.


About artfuldodgewooster

Ohio based literary magazine, now over twenty years old, still in print, and gradually spreading across the digital world. Official Website:
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