I know it wasn’t easy being you. The endless search for food. The seeking for warmth and shelter. The foxes fixed on a quick meal. The hawks swooping from a great beyond so vast you probably wouldn’t have seen them until the shadow fell and you were seized screaming, picked apart on some remote tree limb, eaten alive.

That this did not become your fate must have been small solace. You knew the hawks were there, watching your every move, determined to reward the slightest lapse of your attention with certain death.

It was the very state of existence that caught up with you, the endless seeking and hiding.

Haz-Mat

By Laura Waldon

Essay

A dead human body, like an animal corpse on the side of the road, bloats after several days. What I didn’t realize until recently, though, is that a bloated body left unattended will eventually explode. All that pressure and built-up gas needs to go somewhere, so it finds the weakest spot in the skin and exits through it. Under force.