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JAM by Kelly McQuain • Cleaver Magazine
JAM by Kelly McQuain At dusk, they come haunting to slake their hunger: doe and fawn threading autumn brush. Down hillside, through hollow, they search for fallen apples—rotten spoils of the abandoned orchard Mom’s lived by since Dad passed on. The deer move like wood smoke through charcoal shadow; I’m penciled in against trees, watching roadside, unsure why a lover once told me he liked me more than raspberry jam and that—while he loved raspberry jam—he didn’t love me. The truth? I didn’t love him either and liked him less at such clumsy carelessness. So I held my tongue about his small cock and left with what grace I could muster. Words are awkward sticky things that sway from sugar to sour once loosened from tongue. Do I forgive him because we were young? Desire reversed doesn’t chase need away. In June, among roadside rock, new blackberries will muster. Wild … chop! chop! read more!