He loved the night sky over Loraine, accent
on both syllables—low rain—loved the taste
of the name in his mouth, the sound of his town-
folk talking. He loved lying flat on his back
that summer, dusk pulsing with crickets, dreaming
the Great Hunter. He knew the story, the bright
stars, Betelgeuse his favorite—shoulder of the giant
he dreamed roping, star of a rodeo that glittered
like Rex Allen’s spangled shirt under banked lights,
his unleashed smile. The boy carried that brightness
home from San Antonio, his daddy driving past
midnight, father and son singing cowboy songs
into the roaring hush. Momma had salmon croquettes
warming for them in the oven, he could taste them
in the sound of salmon with an ell—the mouth-
watering glide of his tongue. He could hear mallets
clicking in the backyard, ice-cream freezers turning
beneath the chinaberries like slow tires on gravel.
He murmured to himself drifting off, his favorite colors,
the names he had given them—Dragon Fruit for the sun
just over the horizon, Cornsilk for the light that came
after. Others for the day ahead. Mesquite Lace Green.
Sandstone Shade. Cerulean. A color for each room
of the house he imagined for himself, and visible
from his pillow, a photograph of Rex Allen, smiling.

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DAVID MEISCHEN has been writing poetry and teaching the writing of poetry for thirty-five years. A four-time Pushcart nominee, he is the author of Anyone’s Son, a debut poetry collection from 3: A Taos Press. Sam Sax, author of bury it and madness, describes Anyone’s Son as “a book of opening and unbuttoning . . . a book unzipping its very text so a reader might see the heart throbbing there below the page.” A passionate storyteller with a lifelong interest in narrative, David has an MFA in fiction. To date, some two dozen of his short stories and flash fictions have been published. He won the Writers’ League of Texas manuscript award in Mainstream Fiction (2011), the Talking Writing Prize for Short Fiction (2012), and the Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story from the Texas Institute of Letters (2017). Storylandia, Issue 34, summer 2020, is entirely devoted to David’s work: The Distance Between Here and Elsewhere: Three Stories. David has a novel in stories and a short story collection; he is actively seeking an agent and/or publisher for both. Currently, David is working to finish a memoir—Crossing the Nueces: Reflections on a Divided Life. Five of the memoir chapters have been published; one of these, originally in The Gettysburg Review, was selected for Pushcart Prize XLII. Twice a resident with the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, David has also served as a juror for Kimmel Harding Nelson. In 2018, he completed a residency at Jentel Arts. David is co-founder and Managing Editor of Dos Gatos Press, publisher of Wingbeats and Wingbeats II—nationally recognized collections of poetry writing exercises. He lives in Albuquerque, NM, with his husband—also his co-publisher and co-editor—Scott Wiggerman.

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